The Mumbai Control Centre of the national carrier Air India Saturday received a phone call threatening to hijack one of its planes, following which all airlines and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was directed to follow specific enhanced measures to ensure security, PTI reported.
The directions to the paramilitary force and airlines were issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). “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.
“In view of the above, APSU (Airport Security Unit)/ASG (Aviation Security Group) and all aircraft operators shall adopt the following measures with immediate effect,” the note added. The BCAS, in its note, also directed the specific measures to be taken in order to enhance the security apparatus for airlines.
The measures include strict access control to regulate entry to the terminal building, airside, all operational area and other aviation facilities, intensive checking of vehicles entering car parking area to preclude the possibility of car bomb attacks. The note also calls for enhanced screening of passengers, staff and visitors including the enhanced random screening at the main gate along with an intense screening and protection of hold baggage, cargo, cargo terminal, catering and mails.
Meanwhile, quick reaction team and perimeter patrolling are to be strengthened at the airport premises followed by manning of all cargo gates and vehicle entry gates with strong armed support. Besides, the note mentions that any other security measures based on local intelligence input will also be taken forward.
It is to be noted that Parliament passed the Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill in 2014 in order to lay down new protocol to deal with the hijacking of an airplane. “The Bill provides death punishment for the offence of hijacking, where such offence results in the death of a hostage or of a security personnel; or with imprisonment for life and the moveable and immoveable property of such persons shall also be liable to be confiscated,” the central government said in a statement on December 3, 2014.