Pune: The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) will soon introduce a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for security checks of persons with disabilities, who depend on prosthetic limbs for movement. A committee was earlier set up to formulate the new SOP so as to avoid flyers using prosthetic limbs from embarrassment of removing them at the security check kiosks by developing alternate ways of frisking or checking them.
The committee submitted its report to BCAS in August, following which the committee had sought comments from the general public, especially users of prosthetic limbs, on recommendations made by it. The date for submitting comments ended last week.
The committee has come up with several recommendations to avoid inconvenience to the passengers without diluting the standards of security. “During the screening of prosthetics, airport security officers may use visual checks, explosive trace detectors (ETD) and X-ray screening depending on the circumstances. A passenger with prosthetics or braces/support appliances will inform the airline concerned and must be accompanied by an airline representative, preferably of the same gender as the passenger,” reads one of the SOP guidelines.
The committee has also suggested that if X-ray screening of the prosthetic limb is required, such passenger should be taken to a private screening point and made to sit comfortably for taking off his/her prosthetic limb. “While dealing with prosthetic device and during removing and wearing clothes, privacy of the passenger should be maintained along with the proper log entry. If screening of the prosthetic limb is required, then the screening in the private screening area will be carried out by two officials, one to handle HHMD and pat-down and the other to inspect the prosthetics, braces and support appliance,” the draft SOP says.
Disability rights activists had earlier asked security agencies to follow the international security standards where they check such passengers with ETD. Rafique Khan, spokesperson of Prahar Apang Kranti Andolan, was not happy with the initiative taken by the agency. “The security enhanced at airport is good but the agency should strengthen their security so disabled persons need not remove their prosthetic limbs. This will create more problems for them.”