Home ministry orders security audit of airports

Home ministry orders security audit of airports

All airports across country to come under CISF cover

Home ministry orders security audit of airports

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has ordered a security audit of the country’s airports to plug any loopholes, even as it ruled out raising a separate force for securing these facilities.

Keeping faith in the paramilitary force Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is currently guarding 59 of the 98 facilities, the MHA has also decided to put the security of all the airports under this force. Hence, the Srinagar and Imphal airports, which are presently guarded by the CRPF, could also be put under the CISF cover.

The decisions were taken at a meeting, attended by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on August 5. The meeting was convened against the backdrop of terrorists targeting Zaventem airport in Brussels.

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

According to the plan, there could be random checking of incoming fliers at the entrance of the airports. Standard operating procedures for random checking of incoming vehicles, cargo and detection of flying objects and drones are also being prepared. Behaviour monitoring mechanism will also be put in place.

“We are completely overhauling the security apparatus of all the airports. A dedicated plan is being worked out. Security at the airports will be upgraded based on the audit,” Rijiju told reporters.

The MHA has also turned down a proposal of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to raise a dedicated Aviation Security Force on lines of the Railway Protection Force.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has been lobbying for a separate force under the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security of India but sources said Doval was against the idea as he felt that it was not competent enough to do the job.

The attendees of the meeting were of the view that there was a need for both short-term and long-term steps to reduce vulnerability of airports of high value. They also discussed the threat emanating from high rise buildings located on the periphery of airports.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox