Chennai International Airport’s four-level inline screening system will be implemented in two weeks, freeing the passengers from standing in the queue to scan their luggage at standalone X-ray machines before depositing them at the check-in counter. The new system will allow the passengers to go directly to the check-in counters and drop the baggage on the belt.
Four-level screening system to focus on finding explosives
The new system will ensure that the scanning will occur while the baggage travels on the conveyor belt to the hub. From the centre, the bag goes directly to the aircraft. The machinery used for the new system is calibrated as per the revised security specifications issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. They emphasize on identifying explosives.
The system will automatically divert the bags with suspicious content. Such bags will be moved for manual screening later. Those bags that need an open checking will be sent to the fourth level, where the passenger will also be summoned for questioning.
Lack of trained manpower forces the authorities to delay the execution at domestic terminal
The airport will introduce the new scanning system soon for the domestic terminal as well. This may happen by the year-end. The necessary machinery and infrastructure are already in place to make the system operational at the domestic terminal. However, the authorities are facing a hitch in finding the trained workforce to process the scanning system. Around ten to 15 batches of the workforce are undertaking training to handle the system in Kochi, Kerala.
According to S Sreekumar, the Director of Chennai Airport, the system requires around 80 people to monitor the bags. In the domestic terminal, the security staff of airlines screen the bags. At the international terminal, this cannot be made possible, as airlines cannot allot their team for the work.
To execute the system in the international airport next month, currently, authorities are depending on the workforce from other centres. For inducing workforce to run the system in the domestic airport, Chennai airport has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airport Authority of India’s (AAI’s) Cargo Logistics and Allied Services Company.
Initially, Air India was handling the screening of baggage for all airlines at the international terminal. AAI took over the work from September 1, 2019.