Efforts on to streamline post-Covid surge in traffic at airports: Scindia

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that efforts are on to streamline passenger traffic during peak hours and festive seasons in order to avoid jams at airports and ensure that flights are not missed.

He said this while replying to a question by DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran on congestions at the country’s airports during festive seasons, and efforts being made to improve facilities at airports to handle post-Covid surge in air traffic.

“I have had a very detailed meeting with not only our airport operators yesterday (Wednesday) but along with that with immigration and CISF personnel, and I have requested them that we must put in a plan in terms of peak hour planning for arrivals and departures, not based upon just an airport’s capability of runway take off and landings but on the whole process capability, right from when a passenger enters the airport to when he goes in for security check, baggage drop off, and then goes to the gate,” the minister said in his reply.

“We should look at the whole process based on which we should manage our number of arrivals and departures in peak hour traffic. There is a great degree of volatility today. We need to smoothen out that volatility curve. All the airports have pretty much come on board, and very similar to the fog planning that we do in the winter schedule, I have requested them to also do the peak hour planning.

“Today, as we speak, that process is on, and I am quite sure that we will be able to manage in India the resurgence of traffic, unlike what we experienced in the US, Europe, and many developed parts of the world, when there was a resurgence of traffic, there was mayhem at airports, baggage was getting lost. Our airports in India did a yeoman’s job during that process. Even now, with this new height of passenger traffic, we will smoothen out that process in the days to come. I am very confident with our airport operators,” Scindia told the Lower House.

In response to a question by Trinamool Congress MP Mohua Moitra that what efforts are being made to provide relief to old passengers who face a lot of inconvenience while travelling abroad, as they have to rebook their baggage while boarding connecting flights, Scindia thanked her for raising the issue and assured Lok Sabha that the ministry would look into this issue.

“I think, that the member has put forward a very valuable suggestion. We will certainly look into that matter. For us, our elderly folks are an extremely important segment of our population and it is our job to make sure that travelling becomes seamless and a very flexible process for them. So, I shall certainly take that suggestion into consideration,” Scindia said.

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