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BCAS issues new guidelines allowing passengers to exit aircraft during long flight delays

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- April 02nd 2024 02:25 PM
BCAS issues new guidelines allowing passengers to exit aircraft during long flight delays

BCAS issues new guidelines allowing passengers to exit aircraft during long flight delays

New Delhi, April 2: In response to increasing instances of congestion and flight delays leading to passengers being stranded inside aircraft for extended periods, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has issued new guidelines. These guidelines, effective since March 30, permit passengers to exit aircraft through departure gates in case of significant delays in flight operations after boarding.

BCAS Director General Zulfiquar Hasan announced the issuance of these guidelines, emphasising their aim to minimise inconvenience for passengers. He said passengers would no longer have to endure prolonged stays inside aircraft during delays, as they would now be allowed to disembark through airport departure gates in such circumstances.

Under these guidelines, airport operators are responsible for ensuring the necessary infrastructure, including screening facilities, to facilitate the implementation of the directive. However, decisions regarding passenger deboarding will ultimately rest with airlines and relevant security agencies.

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This development comes amid BCAS's efforts to address congestion and enhance passenger experience at airports. Hasan highlighted the agency's focus on optimising standards and tools to manage airport congestion effectively. As part of these efforts, BCAS plans to introduce smart security lanes and deploy full-body scanners at airports with annual passenger traffic exceeding 5 million.

The directive follows BCAS's recent imposition of fines totaling Rs 1.80 crore on IndiGo and Mumbai airport operator MIAL for an incident involving passengers having food on the airport tarmac. In response to a flight diversion and subsequent delay, passengers disembarked from an IndiGo aircraft at Mumbai airport and sat on the tarmac, prompting the regulatory action.

With domestic air traffic steadily increasing, BCAS has prioritised addressing congestion challenges at airports. Hasan acknowledged the visible improvements resulting from these measures while acknowledging the ongoing challenge of keeping pace with growth.

In February, BCAS directed seven scheduled airlines to ensure timely baggage arrival at airports following aircraft landings. This directive aimed to address passenger complaints regarding baggage retrieval delays upon flight arrival.

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