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February 20 date for inline bag screening

Mandatory clearance from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security for rolling out the system reached the airport on Friday

By Sanjay Mandal in Calcutta
  • Published 8.02.20, 1:31 AM
  • Updated 8.02.20, 1:31 AM
  • a min read
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Calcutta airport Telegraph file picture

The long-delayed inline baggage screening system at Calcutta airport, which will enable fliers to drop their luggage at check-in counters without getting them scanned, is set to be unveiled on February 20, airport officials said.

The mandatory clearance from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security for rolling out the system reached the airport on Friday.

“We are planning to commission the system on February 20,” airport director Kaushik Bhattacharya said.

“All three international check-in islands and four of the five check-in islands in the domestic section will have the facility. AirAsia and GoAir passengers will not be able to use the facility as of now.”

The system is likely to be installed in the eighth check-in island of the domestic section, which is shared by AirAsia and GoAir, in about six months, the director said.

Sources said Siemens had installed the system in the seven check-in islands where the facility is set to be operational this month. A Spanish company has installed the system in the eighth island.

“The two systems are yet to be synced. So, the facility cannot be introduced immediately in the check-in island where it was installed by the Spanish company,” an official said.

In the absence of the inline baggage scanning system, passengers have to stand in long queues in front of standalone X-ray machines to get their registered baggage checked. During rush hours, the wait can stretch to half an hour.

Once the system is functional, fliers will have to drop their luggage at the respective check-in counters without getting them scanned before.

Some of the standalone X-ray scanners will be shifted to the arrival section and used to screen the baggage of domestic passengers on transit. A few will be kept on stand-by, to be used if the new system temporarily fails.

The domestic section has eight standalone machines and the international section three.

The inline baggage screening system, considered a basic facility at most airports, was earlier expected to be implemented in the city by the middle of January.

The airport needs 87 screeners to run the system. “Their training is over and they are ready to be deployed,” an official said.