Tuesday, September 29, 2020

None to guide to gates, queues grow at Calcutta airport

Calcutta:  Long queues are forming at two entrances to the airport terminal as the departure passengers who need to get boarding passes from airline counters at Gate 3C are queueing up at the nearest gate and often there is  no one to guide them to other entrances.

The airport authorities have since last week been following a tweaked entry process, allowing passengers to enter the terminal through both entrances of each gate. The integrated terminal of the airport has five gates, three for domestic and two for international passengers. Each gate has two entrances.

Since flight operations resumed in May, following the suspension announced in March because of Covid-19, passengers taking flights from Calcutta were being allowed to enter the terminal through one of the two entrances of each gate.

The lane of one entrance was being used by airport personnel to sanitise luggage and check body temperature of passengers. Fliers entered through the other lane, which had a security personnel’s counter where e-boarding passes and readings on the Arogya Setu app were being checked.

But there were huge congestions because of the Covid-related safety procedures and many fliers did not have smartphones and needed assistance to get boarding passes. They were being redirected to Gate 3C, where the airlines have their counters.

Since last week, following requests from the airlines, the airport authorities are allowing passengers to enter the terminal through both lanes of each gate.

“Now, we are keeping the cubicles in between the two lanes to check the documents. So, the queues are divided into two at each gate,” said airport director Kaushik Bhattacharya.

But, on Monday afternoon, Metro saw long queues at gate numbers 3A and 3B. But the queue at the other two gates for domestic passengers were smaller.

29/09/20 Sanjay Mandal/Telegraph

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