In the wake of intelligence inputs, that small or microlight aircraft might be used by terrorists to carry out airborne strikes in the country, civil aviation authorities are planning to ban such aircraft from landing at airports in Delhi and Mumbai.
Sources said there are intelligence reports about terrorists are planning to attack using small aircraft, which are sometimes difficult to detect on a radar.
“There are plans to ban small, single engine aircraft from landing at Delhi and Mumbai airports. If these are banned, such aircraft can be stopped from entering air space over these cities much easily than when they are allowed to land here,” said a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
While almost none of the commercial airliners in the country use such aircraft to ferry passengers, pilot training colleges and flying clubs use them.
“As these places (flying clubs) are not as much protected as, say an airport, there are chances of terrorists hijacking planes from here to use in a terror strike in Delhi,” the official said.
The plan is still in the pipeline and a final decision is yet to be taken, sources said. Air traffic control officials at civil airports have already been told to keep an eye on any unidentified flying object. “No aircraft should be left unattended by the air traffic control and we have been asked to be extra vigilant,” he said.