Friday, February 22, 2008

Customs staff strength unchanged

Customs staff strength unchanged

Bangalore: As the Bengaluru airport gears up for grand opening on March 30, the customs wing is being readied for relocation from HAL airport to Devanahalli airport.
However, the relocation will not pose any big problem. Reason: No increase in customs staff has been planned as of now. At present, there are 41 custom personnel at HAL airport; the same number will move to the Bengaluru International Airport.
“We are able to handle the work with the present staff. The department would increase the staff there (Bengaluru airport) when the situation arises,’’ customs sources told The Times of India. One joint commissioner, 3 assistant commissioners, 15 superintendents, 13 inspectors, 6 sepoys and 3 contingents will be deployed at the new airport. The customs counters at this site have been designed on the lines of the one at the Zurich airport.
The international baggage claim area has four large arrival baggage claim belts. These state-of-art belts are equipped with x-ray screening systems that facilitate examination of international arrival bags. The baggage claim area provides enough space for movement of passengers to collect their bags and exit through red or green channels.
Both automatic as well as manual screening processes are tested. The reverse process is also tested for arriving baggage where it is transported through the conveyor belt to the baggage carousel in the baggage make-up area.
BIAL has selected SATS/Air India and Bobba Group/Menzies Aviation as its strategic partner for the new airport’s cargo operation. The combined investment is approximately Rs 150 crore and the duration of the contract is 20 years. The combined area for both warehouses is approximately 15 acres with an initial capacity to handle three lakh tonnes of cargo annually.
The main cargo handling company at the HAL airport for many years, Mysore Sales International Ltd (MSIL), was not considered for managing cargo at the new airport. “The main reason being that (MSIL) did not meet the required standards,’’ remarked Albert Brunner, CEO, Bengaluru International Airport.


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