The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) in New Delhi has issued new guidelines allowing passengers to exit the departure gates of airports in case of prolonged delays after boarding their flights.

This policy adjustment comes against the backdrop of increasing airport congestion and frequent flight delays, offering some relief to travelers who might otherwise be confined to the aircraft for extended periods.

Addressing Passenger Inconveniences:

BCAS has recognized the need to mitigate the inconvenience faced by passengers due to delays. Director General Zulfikar Hasan announced the implementation of smart security lanes at airports to expedite the security check process, aiming to reduce crowds and improve passenger experience.

These guidelines, which were disseminated to airline companies and airport operators on March 30, are now in effect.

Recent Incidents Prompting Change:

A notable incident that highlighted the need for such guidelines occurred on January 14, when an IndiGo flight from Goa to Delhi was diverted to Mumbai due to a 12-hour delay, causing passengers to sit on the tarmac and have their meals there.

This event led BCAS to impose a fine of 1.20 crore on IndiGo. Additionally, in a separate incident in January, a passenger slapped a pilot due to a delay announced by the pilot caused by fog, stating the flight to Goa would be delayed by 13 hours.

Guideline Implementation:

Under the new directives, in cases of long delays or other emergency situations, passengers will be allowed to leave the aircraft and return to the airport terminal, with the decision to be made jointly by the airlines and security agencies.

This move is aimed at ensuring that passengers are not forced to remain seated on the plane for durations longer than necessary.

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