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CISF Likely to Get More Powers at Big Airports Amidst Threats; MHA to Discuss Security Models

By: Ankur Sharma

News18.com

Last Updated: November 01, 2021, 13:00 IST

At present, CISF has no control over private security personnel deployed for non-core duties which include checking boarding passes, baggage tags as well as guiding passengers at airports.

At present, CISF has no control over private security personnel deployed for non-core duties which include checking boarding passes, baggage tags as well as guiding passengers at airports.

CISF does not have full security control of big airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and a few areas, which are covered by private agencies who report to airport operators.

The home ministry is planning to put airports under Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) amidst security threats, with the latest being from the unmanned aerial vehicles, according to sources. At present, the specialised force has no control over private security personnel deployed for non-core duties, which include outside terminal buildings, checking boarding passes, baggage tags as well as guiding passengers at the airports.

The step has been taken after the ministry of civil aviation suggested to remove CISF from non-core duties a few years ago.

Home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla will discuss the rationalisation of CISF at airports with all stakeholders on November 2. Two models for big and small airports, including those which are covered under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS), will also be talked about.

The first ‘mixed model’ may include areas of core and non-core duty. “Non-core duty to be performed by the Private Security Agencies (PSA) under the overall command of CISF,” an official document says.

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“There has been discussion over the role of private security agencies at various big airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore where CISF does not have full control and few areas have been covered by private agencies, which report to airport operators. Though these areas are not close to terminal buildings or runways. It is important that CISF has full control of security in these areas as they remain under threat always,” a senior government official told News 18 on the condition of anonymity.

The second hybrid model for small airports with regional connectivity will be covered by CISF, state police and a private security agency. These airports would have multi-agency setup and local police would also be responsible for their security.

“CISF can’t guard all small airports solely so they can have a multi-agency setup. Duties can be performed by police and private security and airport access control can be handled by CISF,” an official told.

The home ministry has also asked the ministry of civil aviation to provide details of dues pending in lieu of deployment of CISF. According to sources, dues are pending for the last several years and have not been fully paid even once.

“Pendency has been a big issue specially with private players. Airport operators owe hundreds of crores rupees for the deployment of CISF,” an official said.

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first published:November 01, 2021, 12:54 IST
last updated:November 01, 2021, 13:00 IST