MHA orders security audit of airports, luggage check on entry

Facing threat of terror attacks, the Home Ministry has ordered security audit of nearly 100 civil airports and decided to bring all such facilities under CISF cover gradually.

Published: 16th August 2016 07:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th August 2016 07:48 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Facing threat of terror attacks, the Home Ministry has ordered security audit of nearly 100 civil airports and decided to bring all such facilities under CISF cover gradually.

It has also planned random checking of incoming air travellers at the entrance of airports.

Standard Operating Procedures (SoP) for random checking of incoming vehicles of air travellers in city side approach, thorough checking of cargo and detection of flying objects and drones are also being drawn.

A Civil Aviation Ministry's proposal to raise a separate force for aviation security has been turned down and all airports will be brought under the security cover of the Central Industrial Security Force gradually, official sources said.

The decisions were taken at a high-level meeting attended by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and top officials of Ministries of Home and Civil Aviation here on August 5.

The move came after the terror attack on Brussels' Zaventem airport where terrorists blew explosives inside the airport terminal, much before the 'security hold' area, where passengers and luggage are checked.

"We are going to completely overhaul the security apparatus of all airports. A dedicated plan is being worked out. Security audit of all airports have been ordered and based on the report, their security will be upgraded," Rijiju told reporters here.

The meeting decided that 98 civil airports in the country will be be brought under the security cover of the CISF, the specialised force for airport security.

Out of the total 98 functional airports in the country, 59 are under CISF cover, leaving out 39.

Among 98 airports, 26 airports, including Delhi and Mumbai, are considered hyper-sensitive. Of these hyper-sensitive airports, 18 are under CISF cover while six like Srinagar and Imphal, are being guarded by CRPF, the state police or by other paramilitary forces.

Under the sensitive category, there are 56 airports out of which only 37 have CISF cover and amongst 16 other airports, only four have CISF security.

The report of the security audit being conducted by a team of experts from Ministry of Home Affairs, Intelligence Bureau, CISF and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security will be submitted within 20 days.

The proposal to raise an Aviation Security Force, on the lines of Railway Protection Force, was rejected as security is the domain of the Home Ministry and the Civil Aviation Ministry or the BCAS do not have the necessary expertise in it.

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