The aviation minister’s remarks come after thousands of air passengers complained about long waiting hours at airports, especially at Terminal 3 (T3) of Delhi airport.
Jyotiraditya Scindia said steps in the area of clogging at airport entry have already been taken care of and the problem of overcrowding has been resolved to a great extent.
He further said that these steps will also be taken at the Bengaluru and Mumbai airports. At BIAL, two additional X-ray machines started functioning on Wednesday, he said.
“It’s the responsibility of the airport operator to provide a conducive environment for the passengers to travel,” Scindia said, adding, “The boom in India’s civil aviation sector needs to be accompanied by a capacity increase across the board. A strong Rs 98000-crore CAPEX for airports is in the pipeline.”
The minister said that the winter rush of passengers at Delhi airport was “unexpected” and all agencies have swung into action over the last 24-36 hours to mitigate congestion at all major airports.
“No one had anticipated such a rush for the winter festival vacations. Between the demand of passengers wanting to travel and the supply by airlines sits the airport, which has to provide a seamless and efficient service. It is the airport operator’s responsibility to provide that service,” Scindia told NDTV in an interview.
It is to be noted that earlier on Monday, Scindia, along with senior ministry officials, visited T3 of the airport amid complaints from passengers about long queues and waiting hours in recent days.
Over the last few days, passengers have been complaining about long waiting hours at the Delhi airport and some also shared pictures of the crowd at the airport on social media.
Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday said the passenger congestion at entry points and check-in counters at Terminal 3 of Delhi Airport has eased and added that it is the responsibility of the airport operator to provide a conducive environment for travel, news agency ANI reported.
After a three-hour-long meeting with the airlines, airport authority, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BACS), Scindia said four more X-Ray machines have been added to the security hold area, the display boards showing the wait time have been put up, CISF deployment already started and it will gradually step in the coming days.
Before Covid, we had roughly about 4.1 lakh air travelers on a daily basis. This week we have touched a new high of 4.28 lakh passengers,” Jyotiraditya Scindia said.
On one hand, we have travelers who are desirous and anxious to travel and on the other hand, we have airlines who are equally desirous and anxious to provide their services after being on the ground for a long period due to Covid-19 including lockdown,” the minister added.
Now, in between both demand and supply of services is the value chain of the airports and it is the job of an airport to provide seamless and efficient throughput for demand to reach supply, Scindia said. “This is exactly where the clogging has happened,” he said.
Sitting with airport officials, we did an operation exercise starting from when a customer enters airport premises till the point he boards the aircraft, Scindia said.
We identified where exactly the choke-points were and then established a process to remove those roadblocks to provide that smooth flow,” he said.
Scindia also said that even airports in the country are not ready to handle such a large capacity of travelers at one go. (Report by-Just News)
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