Long security checks most unpleasant for air fliers: Survey

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 4 2014, 03:13am hrs
Air fliersThe exhaustive 'passenger feedback survey' was undertaken for the first time by 3.44-lakh departing. Reuters
Extended waiting time for security checks troubles maximum number of air fliers in the country, a countrywide survey conducted by CISF has found.

The exhaustive 'passenger feedback survey' was undertaken for the first time by 3.44-lakh departing air passengers across 54 of the total 59 civilian airports of the country which are under the security umbrella of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

The CISF, which is the first interface for air fliers at maximum civil airports in the country, had asked passengers to rate the force on four parameters-- courtesy and attitude, thoroughness of security inspection, waiting time at security inspection and feeling of safety and security.

The fortnight-long-survey was conducted during August 17-31 last year and produced good ratings for the 'courtesy and attitude' services of CISF personnel with 98.3 per cent passengers calling it to be between good and excellent.

1.43 per cent passengers found this service to be average while 0.25 per cent said they were not satisfied by the behaviour of CISF personnel.

98.7 per cent passengers said the thoroughness of security inspection was between good and excellent while 97.48 fliers said the same for the force personnel when it came to the experience of feeling safety and security in the airport premises.

The least percentage of satisfaction, at 95.97, was given by fliers for the waiting time at security area for frisking and other checks.

On a scale of five, the passengers gave 4.39 marks for this subject while they awarded 4.51 marks on the same scale for courtesy and attitude of the security personnel.

The CISF said it is in process of addressing these issues so that the checking at departure entry gates of airports are "fast" and that the security checks could be a "bit faster".

The fliers also gave a long wish list during the survey which they feel would ease and better the experiences at airports.

Some of the suggestions include-- more smiling faces of the CISF at airports, deploying local language knowing personnel at gates, allow laptops to be screened from within the bags and separate security check area for senior citizens and specially-abled passengers.

Other suggestions given by air fliers include no special entry for VIPs, allowing water bottles, more signages regarding flight details in the terminal areas, creation of smoking zones, installation of full-body scanners, wheel chairs for the needy, touch-free frisking and bag tags at the entry of security hold area.

The CISF said while it was elated by the result of the survey, there are areas which require improvement and "would be paid special attention".

"Efforts are being made to further improve performance of CISF based on these suggestions. Instructions are being issued to zonal Deputy Inspectors General (of CISF) to carry out in-depth study of the report and suggestions pertaining to the security units under their jurisdiction.

"Further, the suggestions pertaining to other agencies would be forwarded to them for taking suitable measures," the force said.

The survey could not be conducted at five airports at Lilabari, Tezpur, Shimla, Gwalior and Bhuntar as during the test period these facilities were not operating scheduled flights.

The aim of the in-house survey, the CISF said, was to "get feedback from passengers regarding quality of services being rendered by CISF and to assess the performance of airport security group personnel at airports in order to explore the shortcomings and to further improve their performance".

The force, in the analysis of the survey, said the amount of waiting time at security checks is dependent on the facilities provided by the airport operator to the CISF.

These facilities include availability of space, adequate infrastructure and entry time regulations by airlines based on capacity of the terminals.