Thursday, December 21, 2017

Soon, just 10 seconds to get immigration clearance at Delhi airport

New Delhi: Next summer, if you fly to a foreign destination from Delhi, you may not have to stand in serpentine queues at the airport’s immigration counters.

The government will soon put in place an e-clearance system, which will cut waiting time for each passenger to just 10 seconds from the nearly 15 minutes required at present.

It will also do away with the distinction between economy and first- or business-class travellers as the latter often get quicker clearances.

The move comes in the wake of massive flak the government got recently for chaos at the immigration counters at the IGI Airport.

The issue was discussed at a high-level meeting attended by Union home secretary and senior officials from the home ministry, Bureau of Immigration (BoI), National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), the developer of the IGI Airport.

According to sources, the first phase of the project will be implemented in the arrival section by April 2018 and then, it will be extended to the departure wing in the next six months.
With the new E-clearance system in place, the passengers after collecting boarding passes will be required to get their passports scanned at the immigration checkpoint, a process expected to take 10 seconds, and directly proceed for the security check.

Right now, passengers queue up before the immigration counters and staff manually check their credentials before stamping the passport and giving them clearance.

“At present, the staff sitting at the immigration counters manually cross-checks 14 fields before giving clearance and it often takes time. The waiting time is about 12 minutes on average,” an official told ThePrint.
21/12/17 Ananya Bhardwaj/The Print