From now, passengers on flights be limited to only one piece of cabin baggage, as per the order of The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), which is an attached office of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the regulatory authority for civil aviation security. Passengers will now be able to carry just one handbag, apart from a list of exemptions detailed in the circular notified by BCAS.
The move has been taken in order to reduce congestion at airports and also improve the time needed for security checks.
“It has been seen that an average passenger carries 2-3 handbags to the screening point. This has led to increased clearance time as well as delays, congestion and inconvenience to passengers. It is, therefore, felt that enforcement of the aforesaid circulars must be ensured by all stakeholders,” the circular read.
BCAS has asked airline and airport operators to ensure that passengers strictly comply with the rule.
“Airline may be made responsible and depute staff to guide pax, check and verify their hand bag status etc, before allowing the passenger for Pre-embarkation security checks,” the BCAS stated. “All airlines may be directed suitably to inform passengers and to display ‘one hand bag rule’ on their tickets/boarding passes very conspicuously,” it added.
But it may prove quite hard to implement the order on account of the numerous exemptions listed in the very same circular. Passengers are allowed to carry a laptop bag, a ladies’ handbag, a blanket, gift items purchased from duty-free shops inside airports, an umbrella, and reading material in the form of books, magazines, if it is reasonable for the duration of the flight.
But the rule may do little more than just alleviate the situation for the short time as air traffic at smaller airports India continues to increase.
“As flights are increasing in number at smaller airports, the infrastructure available there is often found wanting. You want to ease congestion; you have to build more infrastructure,” an executive of a private airline told BusinessStandard.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)