If you are flying out of Srinagar airport you need to be aware of all the Srinagar Airport security checking. This writes up will work as a mini guide which tells you about multiple Srinagar Airport security checking. Srinagar International Airport, also known as Sheikh-ul-Alam Airport, located at 12 km from the north of Srinagar, serving the city with domestic and international flights. Srinagar Airport was once used by the Indian Air Force as a military airport during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, but in 1979, AAI decided to set up a civil enclave at the airport.
On 1998 the airport was slightly modified to host Hajj flights. On the following year, in 1999, taken again by the Air Force during the Kargil War. Srinagar Domestic Terminal offers to passengers the services presented above :
* Medical facilities
* Lost & found
* Disabled services
* Luggage carts
* Security hold area
* Free Wi-Fi connection
It was in 2005 that the airport was given the international status airport by the Indian government, and in 2009, the international terminal inaugurated by Sonia Gandhi. It has the capacity to host 500 passengers during peak hours. During Hajj season, the charter terminal used to accommodate the flights to Jeddah.
Of all the airports I have visited, Srinagar airport certainly takes the credit when it comes to the question of security and checking. All of this is, of course, justified considering it would certainly be pretty high up on the target list for any organization planning to create shock and terror there!
There are essentially 4 different levels of security :
First level: As you enter the airport, just a little ahead from the gate, you have to get down from your car with the bags and get them all scanned. This is certainly not there in any other airport that I have visited. While you and your luggage are getting scanned, the car also gets checked thoroughly outside. This is the first baggage screening and all the members including the driver need to get out of the vehicle. There would be sniffer dogs along with armed security people.
Second level: Once you have done with Level 1, you get back inside your car and drive ahead about another half a kilometer and reach the main departure terminal. This is where you show your tickets and enter the airport building. This is the second level of security and is pretty common with other airports which insist on scanning your check-in baggage. So you get your bags scanned and tagged. Here I have to leave all my apples, biscuits and cakes which I thought to consume in flight. After requesting them the security people told us to consume all the stuff in the airport only.
Third level: This is right after the security-check where there is a heavy deployment of security people who open many of the bags after the scan, especially ones with food or digital equipment (big cameras, laptops etc). I had my entire bag opened and laid down on the table.
Fourth level: After you done with all scanning and get your boarding pass stamped, the last bit of checking takes place right before you board your plane. Basically, all your hand-baggage opened and scanned visually or with a metal detector just before you board the plane. However, I didn’t see this happening for all flights. This is a unique check. You need to find your baggage before it gets loaded into the plane. Show the baggage tags on the back of the boarding pass to enter the baggage identification area. Make sure that you pass through this check; else your baggage would not be loaded in the plane.
Since this was my first time at the Srinagar airport, the checking didn’t bother me at all and I was actually very curious to see all the rules being followed and the meticulousness of the process.
Few tips regarding Srinagar Airport security checking
1) Adherence to baggage packing guidance and keeping enough time in hand before departure of flight are of utmost importance.
2) Limited and Restricted Hand baggage.
3) There are several restrictions in terms of what you can carry as hand baggage on any flight originating from Srinagar.
4) Apart from avoiding usually prohibited objects like a knife, scissors, nail cutter etc., do not carry fruits/flowers/souvenirs like conifer cone with you.
5) No food item or water bottle allowed in flight.
6) Electronic items like a still/video camera, laptops need to switch on at the airport.
7) Travelers who generally prefer taking the baggage in the cabin rather checking it in, need to change the habit as some airlines here do not allow even clothes in the bag!
8) Reach the vicinity of the airport at least 4 hours earlier than the flight departure time.
9) Unlike the normal airports, the security checks here start a kilometer before the airport. These checks could take half an hour to one hour depending on the rush.
10) Keep in hand your identity card and printed copies of tickets. They would need a show to security people at multiple points.
11) So do not lose patience, instead be ready to pass through them with ease and confidence.
Srinagar is famous for the panoramic views. Behold the spectacular view of surroundings during take-off!! We flew out of Srinagar airport with the Indian Airlines flight out of the town. The take off from the airport is spectacular. Grab your seat beside the window.
The day we had to say goodbye to Kashmir.