Kanpur Airport, the fifth most profitable airport as of 2020-21, is certainly not the way the authorities have portrayed it to be over the years.
I recently travelled from Kanpur to Mumbai and the experience was similar to what I last felt while travelling by bus, a non AC one, to be precise.
On Wednesday, 10 November, we were met with long queues outside the airport gates while some, including women and senior citizens, who arrived early, were denied entry and were made to wait at the benches outside the airport.
This arrangement was blamed on the limited seating. There were passengers tightly packed in the inadequately sized airport. People were pushing each other while making their way to the security check.
The airport has only one food outlet, which is present in the same room that already accommodates the baggage scan belt, as well as, the baggage check-in counter.
'Washroom Turned Into Waiting Room'
Some of the washrooms at the airport did not even have locks.
While the efforts to make an efficiently functioning airport in Kanpur are commendable, the inadequate services and mismanagement continue to disappoint the passengers.
There were numerous incidents of heated arguments between the passengers and the airport staff. There was a point when the argument aggravated, to the point where the all-polite staff had to make an announcement for all the complaints to be made on the website instead of the desk as it was getting overcrowded.
Due to lack of space, some passengers took to the washroom to wait for their flights.
While all of this was happening around me, our phones rang and we received the news that our flight was delayed. We had to wait for another 35 minutes before we could escape the airport mayhem.
At 4:05 pm, when our flight finally arrived the already seated passengers from Mumbai to Kanpur deboarded and we boarded the plane without any time gap, which also seemingly implies that the plane was neither cleaned nor sanitised post the previous flight, contrary to what is usually followed.
While the previous passengers of the flight were deboarding, we were asked to wait till we could board.
From filthy washrooms to airport congestion to zero conveyor belts, I believe the airport requires more attention than acknowledged by the airport authorities.
Despite being called a metro and a smart city, Kanpur lacks a well-built and properly functioning airport. The number of flights from the Kanpur Airport was increased by five more routes operational from 1 November, which further aggravates the pre-existing issues with the airport.
Masked, but No Social Distancing
People were wearing masks but due to such a small space they were not able to mainatin social distancing.
Passengers were literally falling on each other at times. There wasn’t much the airport staff could do for social distancing due to the limited space at the airport.
The development of the Kanpur Airport that is referred to in newspapers and media portrayals is not truly evident to the passengers, including myself.
Besides, the recent proposal of a name change to Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Airport, is not as important as the development of the airport.
(The author is a student and a mental health advocate. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalists' own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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