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With crowding continuing at airports, the civil aviation ministry on Tuesday asked airlines to deploy adequate manpower at all check-in and baggage drop counters while a Parliamentary panel has decided to take up with the Delhi airport operator the issue of congestion.

Ministry of Civil Aviation's advisory
Besides, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has requested the scheduled airlines to place real time data on their social media feeds regarding waiting time at respective airports' entry gates.

Airlines have asked passengers to reach airports early, do web check-in and carry only one piece of hand baggage for faster movement, amid rising air traffic. The country's largest airline IndiGo and Air India have asked passengers to reach Delhi airport at least 3.5 hours prior to domestic departures.

At Delhi airport, also the country's largest, many passengers continued to complain about long waiting hours even as authorities have put in place measures to reduce congestion.

The ministry's directive on Tuesday came after instances of airline check-in counters remaining inadequately manned during early morning hours, which it said was also leading to congestion and causing inconvenience to passengers.

"Scheduled airlines are therefore advised to deploy sufficient manpower at all check-in/baggage drop counters well in advance to ensure de-congestion and smooth flow of passengers at airports," it said.

Further, the ministry has requested airlines to place real time data on their social media feeds regarding waiting time at respective airports' entry gates.

In a statement, IndiGo said it is working closely with the regulatory bodies and airport operators to ease the congestion across airports in the country.

Meanwhile, the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture will be holding a meeting with DIAL CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar where the issue of



congestion will also be discussed on December 15.

The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) is the operator of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the national capital.

Congestion at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA)
IGIA has three terminals -- T1, T2 and T3. All international flights and some domestic services operate from T3. On an average, IGIA handles around 1.90 lakh passengers and about 1,200 flights daily.

Authorities have put in place an action plan, including reducing the number of flights during peak hours, to deal with the situation. Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia also inspected the arrangements at the airport here on Monday.

Domestic air traffic is on the rise and airlines carried more than 4.18 lakh people on December 12, as per official data.

In a tweet, Air India advised passengers to reach Delhi airport at least 3.5 hours prior to departure of domestic flights and 4 hours for international flights.

Amid congestion, Vistara is asking its passengers to arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to domestic as well as international flights.

Delhi airport is experiencing high footfalls and the check-in and boarding time is expected to be longer than usual, as per the advisory tweeted by IndiGo.

"Passengers are requested to reach the airport at least 3.5 hrs prior to domestic departures, and to carry only 01 piece of hand baggage weighing 7 kgs for a smooth security check. Please ensure that you complete your web check-in for added convenience," it said.

About Delhi airport, SpiceJet said due to high footfalls, check-in and boarding is expected to take much longer than usual.

Regarding Mumbai airport, SpiceJet has advised passengers for domestic flights to reach "2.5 hours prior to flight departure time and 3.5 hours prior for international travel". 

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