Aviation News

Passenger processing to take priority over retail, VIP lounges at airports, ET Infra


<p>Delhi International Airport</p>
Delhi International Airport

NEW DELHI: In order to ensure that major airports in India do not encounter passenger congestion at peak season, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has mandated airport developers that commercial space, retail outlets, VIP lounges, should be allocated only after adequate space required for passenger-processing and other support services are earmarked.

At major airports, such as Delhi International Airport, Mumbai International Airports and other airports, lounges, retail outlets, office spaces have been either demolished or shifted to make space for facilities which will ensure smooth passenger flow, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a briefing on Friday. Food and beverage, retail outlets, lounges are major sources of non-aeronautical revenue for airport operators.

“There can be no reason for any discomfort, lack of facility in the value chain between the desire of the customer to travel and the service provider, which is the airline, to provide that service on behalf of the intermediatory and the airport performs that role of the intermediatory between the value chain of the customer and the service provider,” said Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in the briefing on Friday.

“Even more so, because apart from one or two exceptions, generally the airport is a monopoly because you have a single point of call, of entry in a particular city and therefore it is incumbent on a particular service provider i.e, the airport to be able to provide that facility,” said Scindia.

Last year in December, the aviation minister along with senior officials had to intervene to streamline the operations at Delhi International Airport, which faced massive congestion due to upswing in passenger traffic post the pandemic, while facilities within the airport were lacking to process the rise in passenger traffic.

As a result, the ministry had to mandate capping of air traffic movements at major airports during peak hours. That move has now been done away with no capping on air traffic movements.

The measures which have been undertaken over the last one year to handle the passenger traffic at airports include increasing the number of entry points at joint venture airports, which are cumulatively up by 54% year-on-year, while at airports operated by Airports Authority of India (AAI), it is up by 29% year-on-year.

Number of check-in counters at joint venture airports have increased by 22% year-on-year, while those at airports managed by AAI, are up 28%.

Movement via X-Ray Baggage Inspection Systems, is also being streamlined with 33% year-on-year increase in the adoption of these systems at joint venture airports and 49% year-on-year increase at AAI airports.

The number of Central Industrial Security Force personnel has also been increased by 4,246 personnel, taking the total manpower deployed at airports to 24,733.

Additionally, the ministry has introduced ‘processing time’ as a key benchmark to assess performance of an airport. The ‘processing time’ will be assessed for passenger movement via entry gate, check-in counters, security checkpoint, emigration (departure) and immigration (arrival).

  • Published On Dec 16, 2023 at 02:52 AM IST

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