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  • ‘Transit passengers can check in 24 hrs before’

    Published on August 5, 2010

    New Delhi: The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security

    (BCAS) has given a green signal for check-in of international passengers six hours before their flights at the new integrated Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. After struggling with the problems faced by international transit passengers in the first week of shifting international operations from Terminal 2, the BCAS has now also granted permission to the airport operator to allow check-in of such passengers 24 hours prior to their flights.

    Till the time domestic operations too shift to Terminal 3 by the end of this month, transfer passengers from domestic to international would need to give proof of their domestic travel to the CISF to have access to the building. International transit passengers, however, don’t need to exit the building.

    Terminal 3 has a designated transfer corridor for transit passengers from the arrivals concourse to the departures concourse, the international section of which has now been opened with six check-in counters and provisions for self check-in. Operator Delhi International Airport

    Limited (DIAL) says the airport receives at least 500 international transit passengers daily.

    “We have greatly improved on the transfer process for international transit passengers. The aim is to project India as a hub for passengers travelling to anywhere in the world,” DIAL’s vice-president for terminal management Ashwani Khanna told Newsline.

    The CISF has, however, raised concerns over the issue of advance passenger check-in and taken it up with the BCAS. Having dealt with numerous cases of intrusion in which people entered the airport using forged e-tickets, officials say such passengers could be a potential security threat.

    “With such provisions, the threat perception increases several notches. A visitor spending days inside the visitor’s lounge with a Rs 80 entry ticket may be as much a threat as somebody who has entered the airport 24 hours in advance and is not a bona fide passenger. We have had cases in the past where people have entered the airport premises on forged e-tickets. There is no procedure to establish if the person entering the airport is a bonafide passenger,” an official said. He suggested DIAL should to put in place a system to check the PNR status at the entry gates and help establish the credentials of bonafide passengers.

    DIAL’s Khanna said this should not be a major problem, as transfer passengers usually have a gap not exceeding 5-6 hours between flights. “The maximum difference between the two flights can go up to 12 hours. Why would a passenger want to be at the airport 24 hours in advance?” Khanna asked.

    Since July 28, when international operations shifted to the new terminal, transit passengers were allowed entry in the building only four hours prior to the flight.