Biman Bangladesh Airlines has reduced the baggage delivery time to 20 minutes from 1 hour addressing a protracted passengers complaint by introducing at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport a system called Red Cap, a mechanism used in major international airports across the globe.
“The Redcap system entrusts a particular person with the task of ground handling of an aircraft from its arrival to departure including that of the passenger luggage,” Biman’s Customer Service Director Atique Sobhan told BSS on Thursday.
He added previously there were lack of coordination between personnel overseeing aircraft traffic management, luggage handlers and transport operators largely causing the delay in luggage delivery system.
The official said the system now becomes fully operational after six months of experimental operations since November last year.
“Currently we hit the first baggage within 20 minutes after arrival of a flight and deliver the last baggage of that flight in 85 minutes. Previously it took one hour to three hours,” Sobhan said.
Biman last year inked a deal with Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry saying it would deliver the first baggage within 20 minutes of arrival of a flight.
“We have already archived 92 percent of the target. Other 8 percent is not achievable due to infrastructure obstacles and obsolete equipment,” the national flag carrier’s director said.
There are some big pillars at HISA’s apron area that slows down tow-trucks of baggage lorries, he said and adding that as per direction of Civil Aviation Authority there is a 30 km speed limit for luggage lorries and they have to go around either VIP terminal or Cargo area that further slows down the total process of luggage delivery.
As per design of the new third terminal, the existing pillars are supposed to be built to make the baggage delivery system faster, Sobhan said.
He said sometimes the baggage delivery takes more time than the target of 20 minutes, if 10 to 12 flights land simultaneously while the HSIA currently has only 8 belts and most of those are 30 to 40 years old.
Biman’s General Manager for Public Relation Shakil Meraj said apart from the red cap, Biman by now procured some modern ground handling equipment and 50 more are in the pipeline.
The national flag carrier has already recruited 40 manpower for handling the new equipment and 30 more new staff will join.
Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) official source said currently a total of 266 flights including international, domestic and cargo are operated at HISA daily, operated by 27 foreign and 4 local airlines.
A total of 67 lakh passengers used the airport during 2015-16 fiscal year that will be predicted to increase by 80 lakh in the current fiscal year.
At present, the airport is handling cargo of 237,000 tonnes that is 37,000 tonnes more than its capacity.