CISF officers guarding the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi are back in their khakis, less than a month after they suited up in an apparent image makeover exercise.
The reason? Passenger feedback that uniformed personnel are easier to identify and give a better sense of security.
“…Many passengers admitted that if an unattended bag is lying, they will tell about it to the staff wearing uniform. CISF officers wearing suits are mistaken as airline staff…when it comes to security, only uniformed personnel are trusted,” said a CISF official, requesting anonymity.
About 4,500 CISF personnel deployed at the Delhi airport and at least 70 are posted at the gates in three shifts. Security staff at the gate checks the identity and tickets of passengers before letting them in.
The staff posted at the entry gates of Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 were given blue blazers and trousers with white shirt and tie as their new dress code.
“The staff is trained in soft skills. But wearing suits didn’t mean that they could not thwart any terrorist attack. They all kept a weapon, which was not visible to passengers,” the official said.
“Apart from that, there were armed personnel posted both outside and inside the terminal. But for us, sense of security is important and as passengers feel safer in the presence of uniformed security personnel, we will not introduce suits for our staff.”
Besides the CISF, the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security has also been trying out measures to ease the long-drawn security procedures including doing away with stamping of baggage tags. However, stamping was reintroduced at the Delhi and six other airports due to lack of infrastructure.