Sunday, August 06, 2023

Coco-nuts! Forgetful flyers keep security on toes at Ahmedabad airport

Ahmedabad: In the bustling world of air travel, even seasoned jetsetters can fall victim to an unexpected memory lapse. In Ahmedabad, passengers, in their rush to catch their flights, often unwittingly slip prohibited items like dry coconuts, power banks, e-cigarettes or lighters into check-in luggage. This has become a daily challenge that poses a security concern to the city's airport operator.

Estimates by the airport operator indicate that the baggage rejection ratio at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport in Ahmedabad stood at 5% from January to July this year. "At least 32 lakh bags were screened at the city airport from January 1 to July 31 this year. Of these, some 17,000 bags were rejected for security reasons because passengers tend to carry restricted items in their check-in luggage," explained Arvind Tripathi, regional director, BCAS while interacting with the media on Saturday, marking the end of Aviation Security Culture Week which was observed at the city airport from July 31 to August 5.

The airport operator has set a target of reducing the baggage rejection ratio to less than 1% by next year.

Airport officials explained that every rejected bag adds to about 15 minutes of additional processing time at the airport. "When check-in baggage containing restricted items is detected, the passenger is often called back from the boarding gate to remove the items. Many a time, passengers end up missing their flight. Every day, there are at least 10 passengers who end up missing their flights due to restricted items present in their baggage," said an airport official.

06/08/2023 Times of India

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