“No One Anticipated Such A Rush”: Jyotiraditya Scindia On Congestion At Airports

New Delhi:

Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia today said that all agencies have swung into action to ease  the congestion at all major airports. In an exclusive interview to NDTV, Mr Scindia said that the civil aviation sector has seen a V-shaped recovery after the Covid pandemic. “There has been a surge after the decline during Covid. But it brings with it problems of logistics and operations,” he said.

Here are the highlights from Jyotiraditya Scindia’s interview:

  • The civil aviation sector has seen a V-shaped recovery. From planes sitting on the tarmac, to all planes flying today. There has been a surge after the decline of Covid. But it brings with it problems of logistics and operations.
  • Between the demand of passengers wanting to travel and the supply by airlines sits the airport, which have to provide a seamless and efficient service.
  • It is the airport operators resposibility to provide that service.
  • No one had anticipated such a rush for the winter festival vacations.
  • I held a meeting with all the airport operators about this.
  • Now, there is also a section of airport security check. But let me clarify that the delays are not because of the CISF staff.
  • (On Delhi Airport): We currently have 11 lines for this. but we need 16 such lines. I have had a discussion with the airport operator and this is being provided for. There is a problem with entry gates too. If there is a 20-minute wait time at gate number 6 and only a 2-minute wait at gate number 11, then immediately it must be switched. That must also be put up on a display screen. That is something that is being done now after my discussion with the airport operator.
  • Now, at the security check, we have 17 security line as of today. We have gone from 11+2 a few days ago, to 17 now… and in another few days, we hope to increase it to 20 security lines. We have also removed all unnecessary barricades.
  • Let me clarify this again – this is not a CISF issue – there is no shortfall of CISF personnel. The DG-CISF was with me in the 3-hour meeting and I asked DIAL as well if there is a CISF issue. I was told that there is no problem from CISF side. They are in fact cooperating fully with the airport requirements.
  • The customers and flyers have faced a harrowing time in the last 4-5 days. We have taken urgent measures and this will only improve immediately and will continue to do so over the next few days.
  • Mumbai and Bangalore have also been given the same instructions and are mirroring operational amendments in tune with the Delhi airport – which is the country’s busiest. The Mumbai and Bengaluru airports are yet nowhere in comparison in terms of passenger-handling with that of Delhi. Delhi is at about 70-8o million and at 100 million with T1 being in operations. Mumbai is at 60 million and that is why we are building a Navi Mumbai Airport. Bengaluru T2 has also just opened. In Delhi too, by 2024-25 we will have the Noida Airport phase-1 opened for 12 million flyers.
  • Things will improve in the next 7-10 days as these new measures are also implemented fully. We need to do this in coordination with all airlines too and hence the implementation will take few days.

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