BENGALURU: To expedite handling of hand baggage for domestic passengers, Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) will be procuring 14 more hi-tech screening machines — Automatic Tray Retrieval System (ATRS). The airport is already equipped with two such systems and is the only one in the country to have them.Each ATRS can screen between 350 and 400 pieces of baggage every hour. They were introduced in May 2017.
General Manager, Daily Operations, BIAL, S V Arunachalam told The New Indian Express that the waiting time to reach the boarding gates gets minimised for every passenger because of this automated process. "Using more such machines will directly enhance the passenger experience in the airport," he said. After obtaining all the safety regulatory approvals, KIA is now set to buy 14 more such machines in the next 18 months, he said. The advantage in using this UK-imported machine is that manual intervention can be minimised.
"Conventionally, once the passenger's belongings pass through the scanning machine and are taken away, the tray has to be manually removed and returned by a Central Industrial Security Force staffer. But, in ATRS, the tray gets automatically returned to the starting point," he said. At each machine earlier, three CISF personnel used to stand guard to return the tray and this will help in freeing them for other security duties.
There are four trays provided along the machine so that at any given time four passengers can simultaneously place their belongings on them, he said. The machines are available at the pre-check embarkation point for domestic passengers only. A unique feature is that the baggage found to be suspicious in nature will be diverted along a separate channel known as the reject line. All that the CISF staffer needs to do is to push a button to facilitate this. The passenger gets to view what the official is viewing on his monitor, Arunachalam said. "The system has enhanced security features and helps in effective screening," he added.
Airport in numbers
Average air traffic movement (arrival and departure of flights) each day: 600
Average passengers handled per day: 85,000
Attained all-time high on February 19, 2018, by handling nearly 92,000 passengers
Average passengers per hour during peak flight departure timings from 5 am to 7 am and arrival timings from 9 pm to 11 pm: 3,800 to 4,000
Bags handled per hour: 7,800
Overall passengers in existing terminal:
20 million plus annually Terminal 2 to be built will individually handle
45 million passengers First phase of the terminal to handle:
25 million passengers; deadline March 2021
Second phase to handle: 20 million passengers; no deadline as of now
Second runway to be readied by September 2019. Will reduce runway occupancy time of aircraft from 65 sec to 55 sec