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Chandigarh airport to get another baggage handling system

The airport’s domestic section has two conveyer belts against the landing of 30 flights.

punjab Updated: Mar 24, 2018 10:23 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh airport,Chandigarh news,Chandigarh flights
Estimated cost of the third baggage system is Rs 2.63 crore.(HT File)

Owing to the constant struggle by airlines to deliver the baggage to passengers on time after landing, the Chandigarh International airport has invited bids to install a third baggage handling facility at its domestic section.As per the tender document uploaded by the airport authorities on Wednesday, the bids have been invited till April 6 with lowest bidder being given six months to complete the work.The estimated cost of the third baggage facility is Rs 2.63 crore.

The airport’s domestic section has two conveyer belts against the landing of 30 flights.The back-to-back 10 flights especially between 10am to 12.30 pm makes it the busiest hours for the airlines and ground staff.“Two conveyer belts are not adequate to handle the baggage service,” said a private airline station head.

“There are airports in smaller cities with multiple conveyer belts. Here, it is an international airport that came up with over Rs 1,000 crore and yet lacks basic facilities,” he said adding that the expansion at the airport is slow and must be speeded up.

Head of two airlines confirmed that there are times when baggages of multiple airlines are put on the same conveyer belt increasing the risk of baggage swapping.

An Air India staff member said, “In February first week, the passengers were involved into an argument with the ground staff members after they did not get their luggage for over 40 minutes.”

A Chandigarh-based passenger, Vineet Sharma, said,“It becomes difficult to get the baggage during rush hour at the airport. “The authorities must step up efforts to improve facilities for passengers,” he said.

New facility will take at least six months

Airport spokesperson Deepesh Joshi said, “As per the international practice, the first baggage should come on the conveyer belt within five minutes of deboarding. All the airlines are maintaining this discipline.”

“As the airport is expanding now, a third conveyer belt is required to cater to the rush of passengers,” said Deepesh who dismissed the charge of airlines that the expansion at the airport is slow. “We keep adding things as and when the requirement arises,” he said.The new facility, however, will take at least six months to come.

First Published: Mar 24, 2018 10:22 IST