Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia Visits Delhi Airport Amid Overcrowding Complaints, Read All About Steps Taken

Following days of complaints of overcrowding and mismanagement at Delhi airport, the Union government has initiated a number of steps to improve the situation. Read all about them.

Jyotiraditya Scindia at IGI Airport

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday visited the Delhi airport amid days of complaints of overcrowding and mismanagement. 

As passengers complained of lack of staff and long queues, Scindia made a surprise visit of the Delhi airport and held discussions with officials and issued a set of directions to improve the situation. He was accompanied by civil aviation ministry officials.

Officials told PTI that measures will be implemented soon and the changes are expected to take effect in the next six to seven days. This is second time in a week's time that Scindia has held deliberations with officials on airport management. Earlier on Wednesday, Scindia held a detailed discussion with heads of all major Indian airports, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), and immigration officials on capacities deployed. 

The complaints of airport congestion and mismanagement are of significance as travel is peaking with the Christmas and year-end holiday travel.

Delhi airport overcrowding complaints

For the past few days, passengers at the Delhi airport have been complaining of long lines, long waiting period, overcrowding, and general mismangement. They have taken to social media to also complain of lack of staff to process the passengers. 

Complaints have been pouring in for a week now. Journalist Shereen Bhan on Tuesday wrote, "Hey Delhi Airport, the situation at security check is an utter mess. A free for all with passengers fighting, lines being broken. Please have airline officials coordinate with security staff to prioritise boarding as per departure. Get airport officials on the ground."

Tennis player Riya Bhatia shared a video of long and crowded lines at the airport on Friday.

People also criticised the private security personnel at the airport who either allegedly misbehaved or not trained to handle the situation.

"Tempers running high. Stupid passengers jumping lines. People shouting. Fighting. Incompetent private security personnel unable to handle the rush. What an ugly ugly experience," said filmmaker Munish on Twitter.

Medianama founder Nikhil Pahwa said, "Crazy queues at T3 security check for domestic travel. Looks like this alone will take an hour...So i just got through security. 52 minutes just for security check. Anyone going through Delhi airport mess should plan accordingly. Malfunctioning bsr code scanners at security check."

What has the Centre decided?

During his surprise visit, Scindia held a closed-door meeting with all the stakeholders in the Delhi airport management and issued directions.

The government has initiated steps such as reducing peak traffic at the airport, according to India Today.

The report says, "In a bid to tackle congestion at the Delhi airport, the Centre is planning to reduce flight departures to 33 from the airport terminals during peak hours. 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."

Reports also list other steps taken so far to tackle Delhi airport overcrowding:

  • Additional x-ray machine Delhi airport T3 domestic and more personnel in Automatic Tray Retrieval System (ATRS) area to assist passengers, as per CNN-News18
  • Landing cards to be distributed on board & filled up prior to arrival, so as to minimise queues at immigration counters, as per India Today
  • Capacity augmentation of security manpower and hand baggage screening, as per India Today
  • The reserve lounge, among other things, would be demolished, and two entry points at T3’s Gate 1A and Gate 8B would be converted for passenger use, as per CNN-News 18

India Today further reported that long-term technological updates for security- and baggage-related affairs will also be implemented.

(With PTI inputs)