Amid a high number of complaints on social media about huge delays and long queues at check-in points at the Delhi airport, the union minister for civil aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia visited Terminal 3 for a surprise check.
“Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia makes a surprise visit to Terminal 3 of Delhi International Airport amid complaints of congestion by passengers,” ANI said in a tweet, sharing a video of Scindia interacting with the airport staff.
Some passengers took to social media and shared pictures of the crowd at Terminal 3 (T3) of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).
In response to a tweet by a passenger, Delhi airport said that it had deployed officials on the ground to assist the passengers and minimise any inconvenience.
While complaining about the long queues, the passenger said there is a need for new terminals.
“Please be assured that passenger experience is paramount for us and we always strive to enhance our flyers’ experience.”
“Also, we have duly noted the remarks and have shared them with the concerned agency. Further, you may also share your direct feedback with CISF headquarters…,” Delhi airport said in the tweet.
The officials said that airport operator DIAL and the ministry have drawn up a four-point action plan to put in place immediate remedial measures, such as increasing the number of X-ray screening systems to 16 from 14 at present.
Discussions are also going on with domestic airlines to reduce the number of flights operated during peak hours at the airport, especially at T3.
According to the officials, the effort is to progressively reduce the number of peak-hour departures to 14.
On Saturday, a spokesperson for the airport operator DIAL (Delhi International Airport Ltd) said it is constantly working with the stakeholders — CISF and Immigration — to cope with the demand, which includes the deployment of additional systems and manpower.
The spokesperson said the number of departures during the peak hours at T3 has declined from 22 during the pre-pandemic period to 19 in November, and discussions are on to look at further reducing the flight numbers.
IGIA, the country’s largest airport, has three terminals; T1, T2 and T3. All international flights, as well as some domestic services, operate from T3. On average, it handles around 190,000 passengers and about 1,200 flights daily.
The officials said discussions are also going on with airlines to reduce the number of flights during peak hours at the three terminals. They added that the effort is to have 14 flights at T3, 11 in T2 and 8 in T1 during these hours.
The peak hours are from 5 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 8 pm.
Among other measures, the officials said the reserved lounge would be demolished, and two entry points at Gate 1A and Gate 8B at T3 would be converted for passenger usage.
“We have deployed additional manpower to guide passengers, especially at the key choke points and shifted one additional X-Ray machine. Additional manpower requirements will also have to be addressed by all stakeholders, including CISF and Immigration, to further improve the situation,” the DIAL spokesperson said in a statement.
Besides, DIAL is leveraging technology, wherever possible, like using an AI-based passenger tracking system for proactive monitoring and messaging to passengers and airport employees on waiting times. In future, the implementation of DigiYatra should also help reduce the waiting time, the statement said.
(With agency inputs)