Thursday, March 19, 2020

Plea to jump scan queue in Calcutta airport

Calcutta: This is the request that Calcutta airport officials are often getting from senior government officials in Delhi and Calcutta for many international passengers.

The request, sources said, is actually a plea for help so the passengers can jump the long queue for the mandatory health screening for Covid-19.

“The number of facilitation requests has increased manifold since the health screening facility was set up at Calcutta airport following the coronavirus outbreak in many countries,” an airport official said.

The “facilitation” service is usually provided to senior government officials, ministers, judges, MPs, MLAs and a few others. According to sources, the person providing the facilitation meets the passenger, helps collect baggage and ensures the flier clears immigration and customs quickly.

In the domestic sector, “facilitators” help fliers collect luggage and leave the terminal without hassle.

“Facilitators” also help arrange wheelchairs.

“The request for facilitation mostly comes for domestic passengers because ministers, MPs and MLAs mostly travel within the country,” said an airport official.

But since the coronavirus outbreak, the number of requests for international passengers has gone up steeply. Many of the passengers don’t fall in the category that is usually provided the service, the sources said.

In many cases, the airport officials have to reject the request.

International passengers arriving at the airport now have to stand in an additional queue for health screening.

“It is taking 30 to 45 minutes on an average for a passenger to clear health screening,” an airport official said.
19/03/20  Sanjay Mandal/Telegraph
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