NEW DELHI: Passengers with disability will no longer have to remove their prosthetic limbs for X-ray screening at airports. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which has often been criticised for being insensitive towards people with disabilities (PWD), has decided to do away with the ‘humiliating’ practice across airports in the country. The CISF has also decided not to screen wheelchairs through X-ray as it causes inconvenience.
The paramilitary force will now use explosive trace detectors (ETDs) and visual profiling techniques for checking PWDs at the airports. An ETD is a hi-technology machine which sniffs explosive particles or traces present in a device and gives an alert.
However, under “rare circumstances and due to compelling reasons”, differently-abled people may be asked to remove their prosthetic limbs and they may be lifted from their wheelchairs to put those wheelchairs in an X-ray scanner for security screening. Sources said that those instances would now have to be documented by the CISF, the paramilitary force which secures the country’s 59 civilian airports, to remove any scope of unnecessary harassment of the differently-abled.
The decision was taken by a special committee comprising senior officers of the civil aviation ministry, CISF, the aviation security regulator Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and other stakeholders.
Earlier, CISF undertook a massive training to train its personnel in sensitively handling PWDs. Singh added, “The aim is to ensure that such passengers do not face any humiliation or uneasiness when they travel through Indian airports.”
Singh added that the practice of asking passengers to take off their prosthetics before boarding a flight and displacing those on wheelchair, so that it can be put in a scanner, will only be resorted to only in “rarest of rare cases where there is some suspicion.” The paramilitary force would now conduct a country-wide survey to find out how many such passengers travel by air each day, said sources.