No handbag tags at 6 more airports from tomorrow

New Delhi: Six more airports in the country, including Patna and Chennai, will do away with the practice of tagging and stamping domestic passengers’ hand baggage from tomorrow.

The four other airports that will usher in the new practice include those at Jaipur, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram and Guwahati.

The CISF, the central security force tasked to secure civil airports in the country, had a few days back declared the operalisation of the new practice from June 1.

These six airports will join in ushering the new tag-less security system along with seven others at Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, where the system was initiated by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) begining April 1 this year.

The paramilitary force will also begin from tomorrow a trial to do away with the tagging and stamping of hand baggage of domestic passengers at five other airports of Varanasi, Pune, Goa, Bhubaneswar and Vishakhapatnam.

Once the three-week trial at these five airports is found successful, they too will join the league of the thirteen others.
CISF Director General O P Singh had earlier told PTI that “an enhanced number of new gadgets, CCTVs and security paraphernalia has been put in place at the six airports (where no tags practice will begin tomorrow) so that the process of doing away with the tagging and stamping of domestic air passengers’ hand baggage can be initiated from June 1”.

The CISF is tasked with guarding 59 civil airports in the country.

Singh had said that the force proposes to initiate this people-friendly measure at all the airports under its cover, before the year ends.

By having the stamped tags on the hand baggage, the security personnel used to assure that no weapon or ammunition-like material enters the aircraft with the passenger. Now with the deployment of smart cameras and repositioning of security paraphernalia at the six new airports, the same objective is being achieved.

The procedure remained a major irritant for passengers who had made many complaints in this regard to airport authorities. They said this system posed hassles as it consumed time and in case they forget to get it tagged, security personnel would ask them to go back and get it done.

The new protocols are only meant for domestic passengers and those traveling to international destinations will have to get their hand baggage tags stamped as usual.

The force is also analysing ways to initiate measures to do away with the tagging and stamping of hand baggage for foreign-bound passengers too.