KARACHI: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has made plastic wrapping, an extra layer of protection over the baggage, of all check-in luggage mandatory in a bid to increase compliance level with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
According to the ICAO, the safety of passengers and their baggage are two important elements in the ranking of an airport or the aviation industry. Plastic wrapping prevents damage when handlers have to swiftly move bags on and off planes.
In a notice issued to all airports of the country on Saturday, the CAA said that all baggage of international and domestic passengers are to be wrapped with plastic sheet at the initial stage of scanning at combined search counters of Airports Security Force (ASF), Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and the customs.
The aviation authority had slashed luggage wrapping rates by up to 87% earlier this week.
Previously, most of the airports in the country had only one plastic wrapping machine, which caused nuisance to the passengers. To address the grievance, the CAA issued a tender notice for multiple plastic wrapping machines at main airports.
The prevalent per bag plastic wrapping rate of Rs400 for large-sized bags and Rs200 for small-sized bags has been slashed to a uniform rate of Rs50 for all sizes of bags, according to the notice issued today.
“Repairing charges are fixed at Rs50 as per clause 22 of the licence agreement executed between Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority and M/S Air Ciro, the licensee shall at all times confirm in all respects with provision of law and rules and regulations which may be applicable to the premises or to the business carried thereon under the licence for any lawful directions issued in respect therefore by any authority,” read the notice.
“It is therefore advised under clause 22 of the licence agreement to ensure immediate compliance to the directives of the government. Furthermore, the said rate should be prominently displayed at your business premises for convenience of the traveling passengers.”
Meanwhile, Air Ciro, a ground handling company owned by renowned defence analyst Air Marshal (retd) Shahid Latif, has moved court on decision of the CAA regarding the compulsory wrapping of check-in baggage at all airports of the country.
The company prayed that it had been given the contract in 2017, which was bound to end until 2022, therefore, the aviation authority should extend its contract instead of inviting other players.
On the other hand, the CAA sources told The Express Tribune that they have sought fresh applications as per the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules, according to which the government institutions can again seek applications to increase quantity of already given order. “For example, if a company supplies a gallon of water to a government office and now the office needs 10 gallons, it will have to give a public notice for extra gallons instead of extending the order to the existing company,” they explained.
“We have issued the notice as per the PPRA rules and Air Ciro is also welcome to bid,” said the sources.