Govt leases AAI land at four airports to Coast Guard for coastal surveillance

In a bid to strengthen surveillance on the coastline to thwart any 26/11 style attacks, the Union Cabinet recently leased land owned by the Airports Authority of India(AAI) at four airports to Indian Coast Guard for setting up various facilities on the coast line.

The decision, taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came against the backdrop of increasing sea-borne threat.

Already, the Coast Guard has developed facilities along the coastal areas to maintain vigil and foil terrorist activities through the coastline.

To prevent any repeat of a Mumbai-style attack, security agencies have been pushing to tighten the defence along the coastal areas.  It has been helping the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) to set up facilities for better surveillance. The Coast Guard had been demanding transfer of the pieces of land at five airports –one each at Juhu, Vizag and Tuticorin and two plots in Porbander.

“Since the land is required for defence purposes, for national interest and is not part of any master plan for the airports in the immediate future, it could be spared for allotment to the ICG,” an official statement said. 

“The leasing of the requisite land at proposed airports will facilitate Indian Coast Guard/Indian Navy to establish various facilities for better surveillance of coast line. Further, it can accrue some revenue for unutilized land of the AAI," the statement mentioned further. At Juhu airport, about 6,200 sq metre of land, including 4,800 Sqm for two Hangars with apron and 1400 sq metre for Link Taxi Track to the Hangar, has been leased to Coast Guard.

Five acres of the AAI land at Vizag Airport and 0.9 acre of AAI land to facilitate construction of taxi track at Tuticorin Airport will also be leased to the Coast Guard. AAI land measuring 7,326 sq metre and 4.62 acre at Porbandar Airport have also been leased to Coast Guard.

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