To avert possible congestion at airports amid rising passenger traffic, regulator BCAS has suggested that new flight operations at airports should be linked to their passenger handling capacities at security check points, according to a senior official.
The move also comes against the backdrop of congestion witnessed at Delhi airport late last year that had resulted in long queues and waiting hours for passengers.
As domestic air passenger traffic crosses the pre-pandemic level, the civil aviation ministry has been taking various measures to ensure that there is no congestion at airports.
Capacity assessment is being done by the airports on the processing time, queuing time, passenger touch points and demand forecast.
The senior official told PTI that it needs to be ensured that airports have adequate capacity to handle rising air passenger traffic and in this regard, it has been suggested that new flights at airports should be linked to their passenger handling capacities at security checkpoints.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) is conducting an assessment of passenger handling capacity at airports as part of the civil aviation ministry's efforts to ensure there is no congestion at airports during peak travel periods, the official added.
As authorities work on capacity assessment, the Association of Private Airport Operators (APAO) has called for a more scientific approach to capacity assessment and that the parameters proposed are too conservative which could lead to creation of inefficient infrastructure.
Earlier this month, APAO, in a letter to the ministry, also suggested the appointment of a consultant for a capacity assessment exercise.
"APAO believes that a more scientific approach for capacity assessment should be used including considering peak hour load, passenger processing requirements, and mix of transfer pax among other parameters," the letter said.
Besides, once the norms for capacity assessment are finalised, the same should be published by the ministry as standard norms for adoption in all major airports, it added.
Domestic air traffic has been on an upward trajectory post the coronavirus pandemic and local carriers flew 5.04 crore passengers during the January-April period this year, much higher than 3.53 crore recorded during the same period in 2022.
This month, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has held at least two meetings with stakeholders, including representatives of airlines and airports, to discuss airport-wise infrastructure, manpower planning and other requirements for the upcoming peak travel season.
The ministry has also asked airport operators to do a thorough internal analysis of their throughput and space requirements, among other factors, to ensure there is no clogging at any points.
On April 27, Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed passenger facilities at airports across the country and directed the authorities concerned to ensure ease of travel for passengers during the coming summer season.