Aviation News

Automated baggage screening system set to make debut at Pune airport, ET Infra

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PUNE: Passengers would no longer have to queue up to get their checkin baggage scanned once the integrated airport terminal building is operational.

Gagan Malik, general manager (engineering-projects) at Pune airport, said the in-line baggage screening system would be introduced at the new facility. “It will ensure timely and efficient baggage screening and handling,” he said.

Flyers would have to be a tad cautious while packing for tours after the new system tees off. Sharp objects, firearms, batteries and explosives are a strict no-no.

At present, passengers scan their luggage before proceeding to the check-in counters. Once the in-line baggage screening system starts at the airport, flyers will directly go to the check-in counters with their luggage.

“Bags would be screened remotely, without any physical inspection, under the inline baggage screening system.

Relocation of baggage screening machines to nonpublic areas will help reduce the passenger congestion at the airline ticketing lobbies,” Malik said.

Airports in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata and Goa have the in-line baggage screening system.

“The system has been in use in private airports like Delhi and Mumbai for long. All busy airports install this service for enhanced security. It offers hassle-free, faster check-in and better flow management, essential at crowded airports. It greatly improves the passenger experience during peak hours. The system is also used at international arrivals, aiding online customs screening and reducing the waiting time of flyers at the airport,” said aviation analyst and expert Dhairyashil Vandekar.

Bags pass through four processing levels in the in-line baggage screening system before they reach the aircraft. A high-speed multi-view computer sliced X-ray machine with computed tomography explosion detection system (CT EDS) facility screens the baggage at the first level. The automatic system needs the operator’s intervention only to start and shutdown the procedure. Uncleared baggage goes to level-3 for further screening.

At the second level, remote screening of cleared baggage is done through workstations. Operators analyse the images of bags generated by the CT EDS machine. The conveying system at the airport allows a programmable time up to 90 seconds to queue and process the images for decision-making.

At level-3, suspected bags are rechecked by retrieving the image of level-1. The cleared bags proceed to the baggage makeup area (BMA). The rejected baggage is moved to the level-4 for manual check in the presence of the passenger concerned.

If any bag is deemed to be suspected after passenger interview or if the passenger cannot be located, it would be handled as per the standard operating procedure and declared a “threat baggage”.

  • Published On Apr 2, 2023 at 10:04 PM IST

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