India

Carrying a power bank may delay you at Delhi airport

12 Oct 2017 | By Gogona Saikia
Power banks a security concern at airports

The CSIF, in charge of security at the Delhi Airport, has a new security concern: power banks.

Recently, locally made power banks have been the source of scare at the busy Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Apparently, poor quality power banks, when scanned through the X-ray machine, resemble Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

On some days, over a dozen passengers have had to be stopped pointlessly.

In context: Power banks a security concern at airports

12 Oct 2017Carrying a power bank may delay you at Delhi airport

Aviation's strange rules on batteries

Indian aviation rules demand that power banks, a must-have accessory for travelers, have to be carried in cabin baggage and can't be checked in. Contrarily, dry cell batteries are allowed only in check-in luggage but prohibited in cabin. Spare lithium-ion batteries have relatively lower restrictions.

HasslesA suspicious item means 15-30 extra minutes per passenger

According to Delhi Airport staff, at least two flyers are stopped everyday and manually checked after the X-ray machine flags power banks.

This means an additional 15-30 minutes per passenger at security check: the bag is opened and all its contents checked, then the power bank is examined, and if it is okay, it is deposited and the passenger allowed to proceed.

FakesMany 'power banks' turn out to be completely something else

However, it is only the local ones made of cheap material that cause problems. Sometimes they are filled with clay.

In most cases, passengers claim to have bought them from flea markets. "These are not really power banks and sellers dupe people by offering them at a low price," said DCP Sanjay Bhatia.

Such a necessary item cannot be completely banned either.

Seven dummy IED cases at Indian airports in a week

In September, seven dummy IEDs were recovered at Indian airports in a week. Curiously, most involved IndiGo flights. As a passenger, to save yourself from hassle, just try to refrain from carrying a power bank as much as possible.