Security stepped up at all airports in the wake of revocation of Article 370
Nagpur: In view of alert sounded by Intelligence agencies following scrapping of Article 370 and also Independence Day celebration, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has issued advisories asking airport operators to step up security over the next few weeks.
Subsequently, the authorities of Nagpur’s Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport have advised passengers to reach airport 3-4 hours in advance for all domestic flights and 4 hours in advance for all international flights amid security concerns. Previously, passengers could walk into the airport an hour before the scheduled departure of domestic flights and 3 hours for international flights.
This development comes in the wake of the advisory issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) to the state governments as well as national and private airport operators, directing them to step up security in the wake of the revocation of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, earlier this week. The aviation security agency added that “civil aviation has emerged as a soft target for terrorist attacks”.
The first advisory warned Nagpur, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Cochin, and Chandigarh airports that they may be targeted, while the latest advisory prescribed more stringent security protocols to be followed at airports over the next three weeks. For instance, passengers should be prepared for intensive random security checks of their vehicles, including by bomb disposal and dog squads. The random checks would be done for at least 10 per cent of the vehicles till August 31. The screening will be conducted at least one km away from the airport terminal or as per availability of space for such barriers/Naka/vehicles checkpoints, which shall be sufficiently away from the airports.
Furthermore, passengers will reportedly be subject to a 100 per cent ”full pat-down” search at the pre-embarkation security checkpoint while enhanced screening and protection of hold baggage is also on the cards. Parking will be banned for all vehicles in front of the terminal buildings.
Moreover, the entry to meters and greeters area will be barred with effective from August 10 to August 20, 2019. That essentially means that no visitor passes will be issued for 10 days starting Saturday and passengers have to schedule a longer waiting time at the airport.