Fourteen years after the hijack of flight IC-814 from Kathmandu airport in Nepal,a recent assessment by intelligence agencies has found Nepal to be the most sensitive sector as far as aviation security is concerned. More sky marshals are being deployed on flights in view of hijack and terror threats,a senior official said.
The National Security Guard (NSG),which trains these commandos,has been asked to augment marshals on this particular sector.
Nepal continues to be on the hit-list when it comes to threat perception in the aviation sector. The maximum marshals are deployed on this route, said a senior officer on the condition of anonymity. He did not specify the number of marshals being put on each aircraft. A senior aviation security official said though there was no specific alert for the Nepal sector in the past couple of months,it was always high on the list.
The NSG provides sky marshals for flights to eight South Asian Association for Regional Corporation nations. A plan is on the anvil to extend security to aircraft from Gulf countries as well.
The officials are working on a communication system through which sky marshals can interact when any of them spots a suspicious person on the aircraft. The porous land-border with Nepal has always been a security concern.
The NSG is also coming up with a Special Operations Training Centre (SOTC) at Manesar,which an official said was futuristic and modern.
An official explained that the building will be a new training centre where they would replicate important monuments in the country like Akshardham temple to train its men. We cannot always train our men at the actual sites,which are prone to threat perceptions. As most of these places are visited by public in large numbers,there are chances of training skills being made public,giving out our strategy. We have not finalised what we want to do as yet and have invited global tenders from consultants on this subject. It will be better than the ones in the most advanced countries, said the official.