Wednesday, April 24

Flight Delays? Passengers Can Now Exit Through Airport Departure Gates

Edited by Aishwarya Krishnan

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has introduced fresh guidelines aimed at mitigating passenger inconvenience during extended flight delays. The directive, which took effect on March 30, allows passengers to disembark from an aircraft through an airport departure gate in cases of prolonged flight delays or emergencies after boarding.

BCAS Director General Zulfiquar Hasan announced the new guidelines on Monday, highlighting their role in reducing passenger discomfort and ensuring a smoother experience during unforeseen delays. The move comes amidst a surge in flight delays and airport congestion, leading to passengers enduring prolonged stays inside aircraft after boarding.

Under the latest directive, passengers facing extended flight delays or post-boarding will have the option to exit through the departure gate of the respective airport. Mr. Hasan emphasised that airport operators are responsible for establishing the necessary infrastructure, including screening facilities.

The decision to deboard passengers in such situations will be jointly made by airlines and relevant security agencies. Mr. Hasan stated that these measures are designed to minimise passenger inconvenience and provide a more efficient response to unforeseen circumstances during air travel.

Speaking at the 38th Raising Day celebration of BCAS, Hasan also added that plans to introduce smart security lanes are also in consideration. Bangalore airport is expected to have full-body scanners by the end of the month. Other airports with annual passenger traffic exceeding 5 million will also have this feature.

On January 17, the aviation watchdog slammed hefty fines of Rs 1.2 crore on IndiGo and Rs 60 lakh on Mumbai airport operator MIAL over passengers consuming food on the airport tarmac following an extended delay by the Goa-Delhi flight on January 14.