Passengers leaving behind cellphones, sunglasses, keys and power banks behind in a rush to catch a flight is not uncommon at airports but the articles forgotten also include expensive laptop and even liquor bottles.
The IGI airport here reported almost 10,000 lost articles last year, and statistics show that electronic items and liquor comprised a major chunk of these items. Luckily, 85 per cent of the items were claimed by their owners.
Earlier this year, Brisbane airport in Australia even reported a prosthetic limb among the forgotten items in intriguing discoveries.
Dubai airport, among the top three busiest in the world, reported more than 1 lakh lost items in 2017, ranging from mobile phones to luxury watches to large amounts of cash.
So how does the IGI airport, the seventh busiest in Asia today and among the top 20 in the world, handle the lost articles.
According to Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), the airport operator, a new software has been put in place to make the handover process scientific and user friendly, thus doing away with the age old manual procedure.
The software has been developed and designed by DIAL with minimum human intervention and ensures there is no room for paperwork.
“Every item gets a unique bar code, which is read by the bar code scanner. This enables accuracy in handling lost property and eases the process. All details of the claimant such as their picture and required documents are captured by the software,” said a DIAL spokesperson.
“During last year, almost 10,000 items were reported lost in Delhi airport and 85 per cent of the items were claimed back by the passengers from the lost property section,” the spokesperson informed.
Delhi airport remains the busiest in the country today and according to Airports Council International in its latest statement, IGI airport grew by 14.1 per cent year-over-year at 63.45 million, pushing it up from 22nd to the 16th busiest airport in the world.
At the newly-refurbished T2 terminal, DIAL has opened a new lost property room where the items are stacked under CCTV surveillance.
In March, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), guarding 59 airports in the country, had announced the launch of a ‘lost and found’ app, stating that it had restored items worth Rs 50.05 crore to passenger last year.