Authorities at Kolkata airport are hoping to commission the much-delayed inline X-ray Baggage Inspection System (XBIS) this Puja when flyer count swells. With two months to go, officials are fairly confident the system inspection and approval will be completed ahead of the festival in October.
“Installation of Computer Tomography X-ray (CTX) machines at seven check-in portals is complete and we have been conducting trials. The system is ready for testing by Transprotation Security Administration (TSA), an agency of the US department of Homeland Security that oversees transportation security, which will conduct the integrated site acceptance test (ISAT). Thereafter, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) in India will give its approval,” Kolkata airport director Kaushik Bhattacharya told TOI.
According to engineers conducting the trials, no snags had been reported in the in-house testing and the system was ready for tests as per TSA protocol. The TSA team would have visited Kolkata earlier, but was delayed after Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials in Delhi decided to first conduct the ISAT at smaller airports where CTX machines have been installed.
“TSA officials have visited Varanasi and Lucknow, which have one machine each. The system at both airports has been cleared. Kolkata is a much bigger site with eight CTX machines,” a source said. Of the eight machines here, seven have been installed. The eighth belt that currently has a different baggage handling system is being integrated with the others and the CTX machine installation will begin in October.
The TSA test has two parts. The first is to ensure that the CTX is performing satisfactorily with respect to its detection capabilities and safety features, including X-ray radiation levels. The second part is to test the complete system along with baggage handling from check-in to baggage make area (BMA) with respect to security, as well as tracking suspicious bags.
“The test will be conducted with standard kits especially designed for this purpose. The Kolkata system will be tested with 500 test bags arranged by the agency. The main objective of the test is to ensure that the system is fail-safe and tamper proof, and no suspected bag reaches BMA,” Bhattacharya said, adding the tests would take around six days.
Source: Times of India