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Aerocity: Security clearance for first of 12 hotels comes with a few riders

JW Marriott told to install bulletproof glass,close offices facing runway

Written by Shalini Narayan | New Delhi | Published: July 31, 2013 1:01:29 am

Four months after 12 hotels of Aerocity — a hospitality project near the Indira Gandhi International Airport that is awaiting clearance from the Ministry of Civil Aviation — submitted their security plans to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS),airport sources said that JW Marriott was given a security clearance with a few recommendations before opening for service.

The final decision for the clearance of the project will be taken at the Cabinet Secretariat meeting to be held later this week.

Aerocity,a 43-acre project,was initiated six years ago by the Central government. The project was to be ready before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

However,the Delhi Police first raised an objection to the construction of the project after glaring security issues were identified,including the project’s proximity to the runway. Other security agencies also raised an objection,saying that the project was a security threat to the runway.

However,sources said a few days ago,the BCAS cleared the security plan for the Marriott hotel,with a few exceptions. These include that some of the office spaces facing the runway be closed and the windows of rooms facing the runway should be bulletproof.

A Ministry official,confirming the clearance,told Newsline,“Clearance has been given to Marriott hotel,which is the first hotel to get the clearance. There are a few recommendations,which the hotel has been asked to comply with.”

The official said: “There are two issues; one related to the hotel and the other to the complex. While the hotels have to get their own security plans cleared; the complex’s security plan is still pending. The BCAS has made recommendations like access control and bulletproof windows. Subsequently,clearances will be given,if the hotels comply with the same.”

In all,the hotels have 5,400 rooms,of which about 340 face the runway. Security agencies have objected to this,since it is a security threat to the runway.

The recommendations made by the committee that visited San Diego and Amsterdam airports include measures such as a proper surveillance plan in the project area and a security audit plan to identify potential MANPADS (man-portable air defence systems).

Sources said the project will be given clearance soon and that the final decision will be taken at the Cabinet Secretariat meeting.

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