With several instances of inbound air travellers missing flights to the country coming to light due to various difficulties faced in filling the online Air Suvidha Form, the HRAWI has requested for the Maharashtra Government to immediately withdraw the requirement. In a representation submitted to the Smt. Valsa Nair Singh (I.A.S.), Principal Secretary, Tourism, Civil Aviation & State Excise, the Association has highlighted problems faced by inbound tourists in filling the online Air Suvidha form and has requested for the mandatory requirement be either withdrawn or physical forms to be provisioned for travellers. Among the issues faced by the fliers, HRAWI has pointed out that on many occasions travellers are unaware of the requirement until they arrive at the check-in. Other than this, travellers have complained about the filling of the form being mobile-unfriendly and they are facing difficulties in navigating as well as in uploading documents.
“We understand and support the Government’s intention for ensuring the safety of all passengers flying to the country. However, there have been a string of instances where passengers either were on the verge of missing flights or some even missed flights due to the confusion and difficulty faced in filling the online Air Suvidha form. Most importantly, travellers are not aware of this mandatory requirement and get to know about this form only at the check-in counter. The paucity of time, confusion and difficulty in filling the form have been creating chaos at airports and hampering arrivals to the country. At this time, the Indian tourism and hospitality industry cannot afford to lose potential tourists dropping plans of travel to India. So, we request that the Government either immediately withdraws the mandatory Air Suvidha form filling or at least provision physical forms as an alternate,” says Sherry Bhatia, President, HRAWI.
HRAWI has highlighted issues in filling the form through mobile devices. Passengers have complained about filling the Air Suvidha form through mobile as being a cumbersome exercise and requiring high-speed internet. Passengers have also voiced difficulties in uploading their passports and vaccination certificates on the online portal.
“Not everyone has access to high-speed internet and the normal mobile internet speeds provided by telecom operators are inadequate for the filling of the form. One of the most common issues faced by in-bound travellers is difficulty in uploading images of their passports and vaccination certificates in prescribed file size and specific format which besides requiring and high-speed internet, also is time consuming. In the eventuality that passengers aren’t able to fill the online form, there is no alternate option available. Travellers are missing flights for not being able to complete this formality. A physical copy of the Air Suvidha form at airports could make a difference. We also believe that there could be better and more viable alternative solutions that can ensure self-declaration formalities being complied by the flyers. Keeping in mind the difficulties faced by in-bound travellers, we request the Government to allow some alternate options to fill the Air Suvidha form in the interest of all the in-bound travellers to India,” says Pradeep Shetty, Sr. Vice President, HRAWI.