CIAL warns AI to improve ground handling at Nedumbaserry airport

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Kochi, Jan 18 (UNI) Taking a grim view of the security lapse by the Air India ground handling staff at the Nedumbaserry international airport, near here, this week, the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has warned of strong action if the service did not improve.

The stiff warning was handed out to the AI officials by CIAL Managing Director Sreeram Bharat during a meeting convened following the incident on the night of January 15 when passengers of a Jet Airways flight from Kuwait were taken to the domestic terminal instead of the international one CIAL said here today.

One passenger had even managed to leave the airport without going through the mandatory customs and immigration clearances and had to be brought back once the airport authorities realised the goof-up.

According to a CIAL release, Mr Bharat told the AI officials the airport management would be forced to take strong actions, including termination of the ground services handling contract, if the situation did not improve.

The AI officials reportedly cited shortage of manpower and equipment in line with the increased traffic and assured that these would be upgraded soon to maintain all safety and security procedures laid down by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

It was also decided that for late night and early morning flights, the CIAL duty manager at the ATC tower would coordinate with the ground handling staff and the airline concerned and intimate the flight details to the customs and immigration.

To relieve the congestion at the airport, the CIAL was planning to construct five more parking bays and a new domestic arrival terminal. These proposals would be placed before the CIAL Board, the release said.

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