Security at Juhu Aerodrome, hub of helicopter operations in Mumbai, upped
On Monday, 40 of 160 guards began their aviation security training, while the others were deployed at spots identified as vulnerablemumbai Updated: Aug 08, 2017 11:59 IST
After repeated security breaches at the Juhu aerodrome, the hub of helicopter operations in the city will now be guarded by the Maharashtra Security Force (MSF).
On Monday, 40 of 160 guards began their aviation security training, while the others were deployed at spots identified as vulnerable. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) also shut down the Pawan Hans (chopper operator) main gate and is allowing access only from the AAI gate.
These steps have been take to improve security, after several trespassers managed to enter the airport, considered a sensitive security zone.
The airport, which has two cross runways, is mainly used by private charters and ONGC to ferry personnel by Pawan Hans choppers to offshore oil rigs.
The new security guards will man the aerodrome round-the-clock. AAI first wanted to hire personnel from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) - which provides security at Mumbai airport. But the plan was dropped after issues about accommodating the staff.
In 2013, MSF was suggested as an alternative.
In July 2016, the ministry of civil aviation agreed and recommended a survey by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). The approvals came in this year.
The move to have one main gate instead of two comes after MoCA raised security concerns in March.
Dr M K Bimal, airport director at Juhu aerodrome said, “The Maharashtra Security Force guards have the power to arrest anyone who tries to enter the aerodrome premises without a valid entry permit.”