Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Huge rush behind Pune airport chaos: Officials

Pune: On Sunday, the city airport handled a total of 15,129 passengers — the highest since the facility reopened after the lockdown last year, posing a major challenge to the authorities in crowd management.

“This was the highest single day count since the lockdown in a 12-hour operation window,” an airport official said.

“Due to unprecedented passenger load on Sunday, Pune Airport handled more than 15,000 passengers against a normal daily passenger count of 7,500-9,000. In addition, the security checks are more stringent in view of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) security alert, which caused congestion. While every effort is made to ensure social distancing, the limited capacity of the terminal building posed a challenge. We have sensitised the teams concerned and hope to have better crowd control in future,” the airport official added.

During pre-Covid times, when the airport was operational 24 hours, the facility used to handle more than 25,000 passengers daily and the total flight movements were around 150. On Sunday, the airport’s scheduled flight movements were 108 — the highest in one-and-a- half years. However, the increased flights led to crowding, throwing social distancing norms to the wind. There were 96 scheduled flight movements on August 2.

“With the Independence Day approaching, all establishments, including airports, are on high alert and security checks are more stringent. There are already more checks in place due to the pandemic. As per the normal standard operating procedure, the additional checks will remain in force till August 22. Hence, passengers are requested to report a bit earlier for their flights than the usual,” another airport official said.

03/08/21 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

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