The Airports Authority of India has drawn up a contingency plan and sought assistance from the Indian Air Force to cope with a 36-hour strike by its employees from August 17, AAI sources said.
The sources said as part of its "detailed contingency plan", the AAI has written to the Central Industrial Security Force, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and state governments to be prepared to deal with the impact of the protest by the Airports Authority Employees Union.
The IAF has been asked to provide emergency services, including fire fighting equipment, during the protest, the sources said. "No flight can land or take off if the fire fighting equipment is not deployed," said a source.
The AAEU has written to the AAI management that its members will strike work for 36 hours from seven am on August 17 to protest the fall-out of the Government's move to privatise airports. The strike is expected to affect 124 airports across the country, the sources said.
Among the main demands of the AAEU is that the Tripartite Committee, set up by the Centre in the wake of an earlier protest against the privatisation of the Mumbai and Delhi airports, should hold its meeting. This panel comprises representatives of AAI, employees and the central government.
All members of the AAI Board recently met with AAEU representatives and appealed to them to call off the strike in the interest of the public. The AAI Board told the employees that most of their demands had been redressed and assured them that the dialogue on their demands would continue, the sources said.