One handbag only for domestic passengers, says Centre as it asks airlines to impose rule ‘meticulously’

BL New Delhi Bureau | Updated on: Jan 21, 2022

The rule is not being enforced; causing delays & risking security, said the Ministry

January 21

People taking domestic flights will be allowed to carry one hand baggage only, the Home Ministry said in a recent notification. The rule is being re-imposed to reduce congestion and security threat at airports.

As per the notification to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the rule is for all domestic flights in the country.

The BCAS had, in an earlier order, stipulated that passengers will carry no more than one handbag weighing up to seven kilograms. Exceptions were made for lady’s bags and laptop bags.

Rule already exists

“As per BCAS AVSEC Circular Nos. 06/2000 & Lt12000, no passenger should be permitted to carry more than one hand bag other than those items already listed in the circular including lady’s bags,” the notification said.

However, the home ministry notification said it had seen a single passenger, on an average, carrying two to three hand bags to the screening point which leads to increased clearance time, delays and congestion, as well as inconvenience to passengers. However, with delays and congestion the airlines and airports have been asked to “meticulously” follow the ‘one hand bag rule’.

Airlines are to be made responsible and depute staff to guide passengers, check and verify their handbag status etc, before allowing passengers to head for security checks.

Display instructions

The order further stated that airport operators may be instructed to place hoardings or banners, or boards, or standees displaying the contents of the ‘one hand bag rule’ near check-in counters, vantage locations before SHA at the airports “so that passengers get sensitized, and if required, have an option to switch their extra hand bags to registered baggage”.

Published on January 21, 2022
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