Bhubaneswar: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) — the paramilitary force that is responsible for security at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Odisha capital – has stepped up security measures in and around the airport following a fresh government order in this regard, an official said today.
This was decided in a meeting of the special airport security committee held earlier in the day, he said.
The move was taken after the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) on Saturday asked airlines and airports to take 20 specific enhanced security measures which will be “in operation till further orders”.
Speaking to Odisha Sun Times, a senior CISF official said “the security personnel have been briefed to take necessary measures as per the directions of BCAS.”
“Access control at all gates of the airport have been tightened and all anti-hijacking and anti-sabotage measures are being implemented strictly by the CISF,” the officier, requesting anonymity, added.
The officer said they were also on the alert against drones and access gates to the airside from the terminal and the city were being strictly monitored. “Security personnel were deployed in plain clothes in and around the airport.”
Confirming the development, BPIA Director Suresh Chandra Hota said: “We are following the BCAS instructions in letter and spirit.”
Earlier in the day, the BCAS has asked airlines and airports to take 20 specific enhanced security measures which will be “in operation till further orders”.
“In view of the intelligence input in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack and subsequent developments, it is imperative to enhance the existing security measures being taken at all the civil aviation installations like airports, airstrips, airfields, air force stations, helipads, flying schools, aviation training institutes etc. so that no untoward incident takes place,” the alert notification read.
“Enhanced screening of passengers, including 100 per cent full pat-down search at pre-embarkation security checkpoint”, and enhanced random screening of “staff and visitors” at the main gate to the terminal building.” It added.
Besides, the BCAS has also directed that there would be “no issuance of visitor entry passes till further notice”, and asked for strict monitoring of non-scheduled flight operations including air ambulance.
The earlier alert was sounded at Bhubaneswar airport after the Air India control centre in Mumbai received a phone call threatening to hijack its aircraft to Pakistan.
The Bhubaneswar airport, which is now one of the busiest airports in the country, is under the close watch of 132 CCTV cameras.