Ensure retail spaces do not hinder passenger movement, airports told | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Concerned over commercial and retail spaces at airport terminals spilling over to areas meant exclusively for passenger movement, the bureau of civil aviation security has directed airport operators to ensure that shops and eateries are kept only “by the side” and the ones set up in the middle of walking and seating spaces for flyers are removed.
In an order issued around two months ago, BCAS directed airport operators, particularly those managing international hubs like Delhi and Mumbai airports, to correct layout anomalies in the post-security check area, which may be restricting free movement of passengers. Among the norms sought to be enforced is to ensure that all shops, eating places etc remain “by the side” and not in the middle of walking spaces or seating lounges meant exclusively for the passengers.
BCAS, in its order, has asked airport operators to provide earmarked spaces at all terminals to enable seamless evacuation of flyers, as well as of airlines and ground staff, in the event of a disaster. The evacuation plan would need to pre-identify ‘assembly’ and ‘exit’ points. The purpose, a senior official told TOI, is to ensure that passengers are able to walk around without stumbling into physical barriers that may also hamper evacuation in an emergency.
“Airports the world over have large, open spaces for ease of passenger movement. However, it has been noticed that some airport operators in India are defying laid-down norms and prioritising commercial interests by placing retail outlets in the middle of space earmarked for passenger movement and seating. This has been taken up many times with the airport operators, without much success,” said a source. In the next 15 days, BCAS will review implementation of its order on passenger-friendly airport layout at various airports, a senior officer further told TOI.
TOI has learnt that home minister Amit Shah, during a review of airport facilities with civil aviation minister Jyotirditya Scindia, CISF and BCAS last week, was briefed on the measures taken to ramp up passenger amenities, particularly at Delhi airport that had witnessed a huge rush during last Christmas and New Year. “It is anticipated that passenger traffic will increase after May 15 but we are fully prepared, thanks to the measures initiated in December-January,” said a senior officer deployed at the IGI airport.

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