Pune: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) contingent at Pune airport will soon have a full-fledged bomb squad with all equipment. A senior official of the Air Force said that only six airports have a full-fledged bomb squad. Now, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) is in the process to procure equipment for over 17 airports and Pune airport is on priority.
An audit report by the paramilitary agency has found that six airports out of 59, which are guarded by the CISF, are equipped to defuse and dispose of explosives, raising concerns about aviation security and passenger safety.
According to the report, bomb detection and disposal squads (BDDS) are operational at airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Kochi and Hyderabad. The audit was conducted in January and February.
The Pune airport is one of the hypersensitive airports in the country. The airport is situated on the Indian Air Force (IAF) land. Recently, the Pune airport has been ranked third in 5-15 million passengers per annum (mppa) category by the Airport Council International (ACI).
According to the audit report, airports require 28 pieces of equipment, including explosive vapour detectors, bomb disposal suits and remote-operated vehicles, for making explosive detection and disposal squads operational, according to rules specified by the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
“There is no doubt that BDDS is essential for airport security. We are in process to procure equipment for over 17 airports and Pune is on priority,” said a CISF official from New Delhi to Sakal Times on the condition of anonymity. “For 59 airports, we require 1,652 equipment, but only 423 are available,” he added.
“Being in the category of a hypersensitive airport, it is necessary to have such explosives detection and disposals resources available at Pune airport. Since Pune is an international airport and also a part of defence airfield, it is a matter of concern that these quipment is not yet available here. In view of the threat perception, the govt must make available personnel and equipment to deal immediately in such situations at the airport. It is also necessary that experts regularly sensitise airline and other staff working at airport as to how to respond,” said Dhairyashil Vandekar, aviation expert and analyst.
- AAI is in the process to procure equipment for over 17 airports and Pune airport is on the priority.
- The Pune airport is one of the hypersensitive airports in the country.