Indian airport security may go the TSA way

Last week, an interesting news report surfaced in the Times of India, which detailed the plans of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, which is in charge of airport security in India, experimenting with a new model for passenger screening.

As per this news report:

Flyers in India may soon be required to take off their shoes and belts to clear pre-boarding security checks just like in all US and some European airports.

As per the BCAS, this is being considered to ensure that “shorten serpentine queues at frisking counters as well as enhance the quality of checking.” They have already done a pilot project in Delhi at Terminal 1D, the low-fare carrier terminal, where they are now evaluating the data to see what machinery needs to be modified (such as the x-ray machines), and what new stuff to put in place taking into account the cultural sensitivities. For instance, they expect to have separate (colour) trays for shoes, which people may not want to use for other stuff such as their cabin baggage.

What beats me is that how will their move shorten these queues? I have seen various models over the years. One followed in the USA involves everyone going through a millimetre-wave scanner, unless they opt-out or are pulled out for a pat-down search. One followed at some places in Europe involves you walk through the metal detector, and only if there is a beep, indicating some objects on you being a problem, they pat-search you.

In India, they state, “the idea is not to have any metallic object (except medical implants) on the person of a flyer before sending him or her to detectors currently used.” Which to me indicates they will get you to put all your belongings on the scanner, but they will still pat-search you, unless they are planning to implement one of these two approaches and go hands-off on the screening, unless needed.

The same article does state that BCAS is evaluating millimeter-wave scanner system as well, but even if it does, maybe they will put these only at a few airports to start with. They have already rejected the back-scatter techniques which have been controversial in other parts of the world.

What do you think? Is this going to help you get through airport security faster, or is this just another trick in the book to keep themselves busy.

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. The BCAS staff r the most rude of the lot! They do their work in their own pace! They’ll sit n chat with each other! They need more training! Several times they’ve confiscated things n disposed them off but the same things go unnoticed by them several times!! It’s never going to get better unless they have deployed many more staff

  2. I don’t think the change will make much difference. Traveling in India last summer, all four of our outbound security experiences were inefficient and failed to give me any confidence that we were actually secure. With all respect to the culture and the desire to provide good employment to lots of people, the level of staffing at the segregated male/female security lines and the subsequent military check after the gate agent’s boarding pass verification were as lax as could be.

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