What could still slow down the security queue are cabin bags containing prohibited items such as lighters, scissors, blades, knives etc. These fail to clear the X-ray screening, are deemed “rejected” and need to be manually checked by CISF security personnel for removal of the prohibited items. At the Mumbai airport, 7000 out of the 60,000 cabin bags screened daily contain prohibited items and are “rejected’’, said
Abhimanyu Singh, regional director, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) on Monday. More the number of rejected bags, slower the queue would move.
With India’s rising domestic passenger traffic, creating awareness among passengers has become more important than ever. On Monday, the BCAS began a five-day long ‘Aviation Security Culture Week’ at 131 airports, including Mumbai to educate the flying public about the role they can play in ensuring aviation security. Information booths and kiosks have been set up, cards with security awareness contents have been put up around the airports, short films are being shown at departure terminals etc, said the ministry of civil aviation.
The theme of the week is “See it, Say it, Secure it”. The 2001 shoe bomb incident on board American Airlines Paris to Miami, is a case in point. A passenger with homemade bombs hidden in his shoes tried to detonate it midair. “But he was struggling to light the fuse. Passengers noticed it and alerted the crew, who restrained him. That is an example of passengers being vigilant,” said Singh. “During the pandemic, passengers were encouraged to have ‘Covid appropriate behavior’ such wearing masks, sanitizing etc. We want our passengers to have ‘Av-Sec (aviation security) appropriate behavior’ ,” he said.
That would mean co-operating with the security staff and not being rude to them, knowing what is permitted and what is restricted in the cabin bag and check-in bags, packing your own bags, not carrying gifts, items given by others and staying vigilant. Also, at the airport do not accept any bag from other strangers/passengers so as to assist them at the security counter, said Singh. At the security counter, prominent posters showing the list of prohibited items are put up. If you find that you have packed in a lighter, a blade or any such prohibited item into your cabin bag remove it and throw it into the bin before giving your bag to the screened.
About the CTiX machines, Singh said that the target is to begin installing these machines in December at hyper-sensitive airports such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai. It will take a few months for the airports to get enough machines, for the security personnel to be trained on it. ‘CTiX machines’ that use Computed Tomography technology … the same technology used in CT scan machines, that is … to generate 3D models of insides of passengers’ cabin bags. These are currently in use in the major airports of Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Italy and are known to speed up security queues.