Baggage Security Market Booming in India

NEW DELHI: In a few months, domestic passengers flying out of Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Srinagar and Calicut would not need to stand in long queues to get their bags x-rayed before the airline accepts them for check-in.

In a first for the country, these airports would get the online security system under which passengers would straightaway take the bags to airline counters and then they would be screened by one agency. Only in case of some suspicious object being detected in a bag, the passenger would be called for opening them and checking the doubtful thing.

"We have placed orders for the online systems and they would be installed at these airports at a cost of Rs 40 crore by this September. This process would offer a much better security and reduce chances of pilferage from bags as only one security agency would handle them," Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman K Ramalingam said.

The existing security system in which bags are first x-rayed and then remain with unfrisked passengers has one big flaw as anything could be kept in the numerous zipper pockets after the security clear tag has been put on it.

The AAI is going to modernise 35 non-metro airports and work has started on 19 of them. "Of these, major places like Jaipur, Udaipur and Amritsar would also get the online security system. We are following a Bureau of Civil Aviation Security circular," said Ramalingam.

(The Times of India -- 02/05/07)