August date for inline baggage screening at Calcutta airport

All but one portal at airport set to be in sync with new system

By Sanjay Mandal in Calcutta
  • Published 13.04.19, 3:55 AM
  • Updated 13.04.19, 3:55 AM
  • a min read
  •  
One of the X-ray machines being installed at the airport as part of the inline baggage scanning system The Telegraph picture

An inline baggage screening system, which will spare fliers the trouble of standing in a queue to get their registered luggage scanned, will become operational in both international and domestic sections of the city airport by the end of August, officials said.

The installation of the system is likely to be over by the end of June, following which multiple agencies will start running tests.

“Today we decided that the installation of the system in the international and domestic sections should be completed by June-end and the system will be ready for tests,” airport director Kaushik Bhattacharya said on Friday. “The system will be functional by the end of August.”

Once the system is functional, passengers will deposit their registered luggage at the check-in portals of the respective airlines without getting it scanned by stand-alone X-ray machines. Now, fliers have to stand in a queue to get their luggage scanned by the stand-alone machines.

Inline baggage scanning was introduced in the international section in 2016. It has been withdrawn temporarily pending an upgrade.

Officials said the upgraded system was currently being installed at the three check-in portals in the international wing. It has already been installed in four of the five check-in portals in the domestic section.

“Portal A in the domestic wing cannot be linked to the inline system by August because of logistical issues,” an official said.

The installation will be followed by two sets of tests. The first will be conducted by the Transportation Security Administration, which functions under the department of homeland security of the US.

The final round of tests will be conducted by the bureau of civil aviation security. “The system cannot be made functional without the bureau’s clearance,” an official said.

As part of the Rs 67-crore project, X-ray machines that capture three-dimensional images of baggage are being installed. “Conventional X-ray machines provide two-dimensional images. Screeners sit beside the machines and examine the images. After the the CTX inline X-ray machines become operational, the screeners will sit at a remote location, to be called Level 2 room,” Bhattacharya said.