India, which is forecast to witness a threefold jump in air passenger traffic by 2037, will need to improve procedures at airports to meet the growing passenger demand, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a study issued on Wednesday. India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world, but the surge in passenger traffic has caused a stress at its major airports.
With domestic airlines adding new planes to their fleet every week, it has also given rise to unprecedented congestion over the skies at airports in major cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai, resulting in flight delays.
India needs to do away with stamping procedures at airports and allow mobile boarding pass (MBP), adopt automation for both departure and arrivals, adhere to global standards for advance passenger information, relocate hand luggage screening (for international arrivals) and adopt a risk-based approach instead of 100% screening transmission, Iata said in its paper titled Aviation Facilitation and Security Priorities for Enhancing the Passenger Journey at Airports in India.
“In response to this growth in demand (in India), improving processes should be considered a primary solution as infrastructure capacity expansion cannot keep up with the speed of traffic growth. However, in most of Indian airports, several processes remain manual and are not so efficient, e.g. requiring stamping on boarding pass at multiple touch points," the Iata study said.
IATA is an association representing 290 of the world’s airlines, which account for 82% of the total global air traffic. Its members include domestic airlines such as Air India, Jet Airways, and Vistara.
“When it comes to security, while today’s aviation security measures work, it is an archaic one-size-fits-all platform that comes at great cost to airlines, airports, authorities, and passengers. Imposing new and/ or additional measures, or simply replacing screening equipment, are not robust enough to ensure security and facilitation effectiveness and will not be adequate to cater to the increased number of travellers in the coming years," it said.
Iata said it hopes the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the Bureau of Immigration, and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs supports improved facilitation and security by adhering to global best practices and by embracing new technologies and innovation in processes to handle this growth and meet passenger expectations.