Stranded at the tarmac? Here's why you are not allowed to deboard a plane

Passengers are not allowed to deboard a plane during a delay as CISF denies reverse entry at the airport

Heavy fog conditions are causing massive delays in the flight schedule in North India. While 13 flights were delayed at the Chandigarh International Airport on Thursday, January 4, 17 flights were delayed at the Delhi Airport on Friday, January 5 morning due to heavy fog conditions prevailing in the national capital.

Take a look at the images from the airport:

The delays are forcing the airlines to sit on the runways for hours, which in turn is proving to be a harrowing experience for the passengers. Incidentally, airlines don’t make it any easier for the passengers by allowing them to deboard the plane and wait at the airport. But have you ever wondered why?

We have compiled a set of reasons why passengers have to undergo such a traumatic experience during the flight delays. Take a look:

CISF does not allow reverse entry
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is in charge of airport security at all commercial airports in India. CISF norms do not allow reverse entry of the passengers at the airport owing to security concerns. This means that once a passenger has left the departure terminal, he or she cannot enter from the boarding gate even if the airliner deboards the passengers after undergoing the security check.

CISF official OP Singh told Business Standards that the airside is not a complete ‘sanitized zone’. ‘Any equipment’ can be handed over to the passenger by the people working near the runway when he or she deboard the plane.

Limited airport capacity
Airports have a limited capacity and may not be able to handle the additional passenger traffic.

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To give you a perspective, Terminal 3 of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has a capacity of 34 million passengers per annum. However, it handled a whopping 57.7 million passengers in 2016-2017. If an airliner deboards a plane, the airport may not have enough space to accommodate the disembarked passengers.

Missing the take-off queue
The Indian aviation system works on a first-cum-first-serve basis. And an aircraft gets a departure sequence only when it has closed its doors after boarding all passengers.

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On a foggy day, hundreds of planes are in a departure sequence. Deboarding the passengers and passing them through the security check again would take a significant amount of time, pushing the departure time further.