The government has responded to hundreds of posts on social media complaining about overcrowding at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, or IGIA. Officials said that for a start, queue management personnel are actively reminding passengers to be ready for checks of their identity documents and boarding passes and moving them to shorter queues whenever possible.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia met officials yesterday over complaints of congestion at the airport and discussed steps to resolve the issue.
Today, airport personnel asked passengers to keep identity cards and boarding passes in hand for faster screening and movement.
Additionally, the airport has posted messages on social media telling people how to check-in faster and has put up signage at queue-starting points to ensure order.
Hundreds of people tweeted photos and videos showing long queues and huge crowds at the Delhi airport. Some people, mostly frequent travellers, have alleged that they have been witnessing chaotic scenes at the Delhi airport for the past few months, and this is not a recent problem.
“As always, complete chaos at the entry point of Delhi airport. CISF is making sure you spend 15-20 minutes to get to the terminal event at 7:15 am. And what happens at immigration/security? OK Well, let’s find out, but I don’t think it’s going to be easy,” auto journalist Ishaan Raghav tweeted this morning.
clutter on @Delhi Airport Has sustained. Now in the security queue for 50 minutes after immigration. Already spent 1 hour 15 minutes trying to get through the terminal. Good work @JM_Scindia@AAI_Officialpic.twitter.com/hShd56aYJ9
— Ishan Raghava (@iraghava) December 8, 2022
Tagging officials including Scindia, Mr Raghav tweeted, “Chaos continues at Delhi airport. After 50 mins for immigration, now in security queue. Already 1hr 15 mins trying to get through terminal.” It’s over.”
The Central Industrial Security Force, or CISF, handles security at the Delhi airport. Passenger numbers are also high because the time around New Years is a busy season when people go on holiday.
“There is no queue discipline in Delhi airport queues. There is no one here who cares or helps to organize smooth flow of passengers. Airlines require passengers to arrive 4 hours prior to domestic flight. Should be advised. There is nervousness, anxiety on every face. tweeted Shivam Kamani, a passenger.
Kit Walker, another passenger said, “We have been in the queue for almost an hour and still no relief… CISF needs to increase the counter and GMR Delhi airport is becoming worse than ISBT. Today At least 100 people will miss their flights.” tweeted referring to the Inter-State Bus Terminal or ISBT.
Dear @JM_Scindia We have been in line for almost an hour and still no relief…
CISF needs to increase the counter and GMR is becoming worse than Delhi airport ISBT. At least 100 people will miss their flights today. @PMOIndiapic.twitter.com/jkzn7N5svW
— Kit Walker (@pegasus191) December 6, 2022
Later in the evening, some passengers tweeted that the situation had improved as airport personnel were seen interacting with passengers to ensure discipline in the queue.
Businessman Kunal Bahl tweeted, “Results in a day after Delhi airport cracked the whip. Shorter lines. Faster flow. Passengers happy.”
After yesterday’s meeting, Mr Scindia tweeted the steps to be taken to decongest airports.
The following initiatives have been outlined-
1. Plans for peak-hour capacity based on passenger processing capacity at each major airport
2. Landing cards should be distributed on board and filled in prior to arrival, to reduce queues at immigration counters.
— Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) December 7, 2022
“Had detailed discussions with chiefs of all major Indian airports…and immigration authorities on capacities required at each point to smoothly process domestic and international passengers during the busy travel season,” Mr Scindia tweeted.