Coimbatore, MAY 15
The city airport plans to acquire an in-line baggage system to deal with the growth of passenger traffic and upgrade facilities and security. Under the system, passengers do not have to screen their baggage before check-in and will thus not require to stand in a queue and save time.
Four months ago, the airport authorities at a stakeholders meeting said they were planning to install an in-line baggage handling system. “The in-line baggage system or multi-level x-ray screening system, once installed, will screen the baggage enroute to airline’s luggage loading station after it is dropped off by passengers during check-in,” said an airport official.
The system will save passengers between 10 to 15 minutes before checking-in. “Passengers who have done online check-in can directly drop off their luggaage and move towards emigration,” said the official. “It makes a difference when passengers come close to the end of check-in time and during peak hours,” he said.
The multi-level x-ray screening system will have four levels including one with high level sliced x-ray machine to detect explosives. Uncleared baggage will be sent to level two where a manual operator will look into x-ray image of it.
While at level three sniffer dogs and trace detectors will be used to detect explosive, at level four baggage owner will be called forward, handed the baggage and interviewed for clarifications. A good system should be able to screen and process 22 bags a minute, that is 1,300bags an hour. Even a basic version could scan 400 to 500 bags an hour.
Passengers’ association welcomes the move and says it is a “must” in such growing airports. “It is a big relief because the system stops passengers from having to unload baggage from the trolley and put it on the scanner and then again load it on the trolley only to unload it againwhile checking-in,” Sudhakara Reddy, the founder of Air Passengers Association of India, said.
“It not only clears up a lot of space on the terminal but makes the check-in process hassle free for old people and pregnant women,” he said, adding, “For an airport that sees a traffic of 3 million people, it is compulsory, whatever be the cost.”
The in-line baggage system is already present in Chennai International Airport but is yet to be installed at the domestic terminal. “The Chennai airport authorities are in the process of installing the system inthe domestic terminal too. But it was delayed last year as the bureau of civil aviation security of India changed its specifications,” he added.