Security tightened at Bhubaneswar airport after hijack threat to Air India

Bhubaneswar: Security in and around the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Odisha capital was tightened after the Air India control centre in Mumbai received a phone call threatening to hijack its aircraft to Pakistan, an official said.

“We have beefed up the security at Bhubaneswar airport following the instructions of the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and it (intensive checking) will continue till next week,” a senior official of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), who didn’t wish to be named, told Odisha Sun Times.

He further said his personnel have doubled surveillance through CCTV cameras as well as manual surveillance in and around the terminal building and operational areas of the airport.

“Some of our staff also in civil dress to keep close eye on suspicious movements of any person near the airport. We have enhanced screening of passengers, staff and visitors including a random screening at the entry gate of the airport,” the CISF official said.

Dog squads and ETD (explosive trace device) machines have been deployed at various places, including the car parking areas, he added.

The BCAS alert has also asked the security personnel to enhance patrolling through quick reaction vehicles.

The Bhubaneswar airport, which is now one of the busiest airports in the country, is under the close watch of 132 CCTV cameras.

“A telephonic message received by the station duty office, AI (Air India) AOCC (Airport Operation Control Centre) Mumbai, stating information regarding a threat to Indian Airlines flight getting hijacked to Pakistan on 23.2.2019,” stated the BCAS note dated February 23.

The note added, “In view of the above, APSU (Airport Security Unit)/ASG (Aviation Security Group) and all aircraft operators shall adopt eight security measures with immediate effect.”

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