Nine months to a more secure airport boundary | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Nine months to a more secure airport boundary

More than three years after aviation security policy makers recommended it, the Mumbai airport is finally prepared to begin the installation of a hi-tech security surveillance system to guard its boundary.

mumbai Updated: Aug 24, 2010 01:48 IST
Soubhik Mitra

More than three years after aviation security policy makers recommended it, the Mumbai airport is finally prepared to begin the installation of a hi-tech security surveillance system to guard its boundary.

The airport will start the installation of the Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) on its periphery running past scores of slums from Kurla to Andheri early next month.

PIDS is a combination of three surveillance systems — infrared rays, closed-circuit television cameras and radio frequency — meant to curb trespassing. A security alarm will start ringing if anyone tries to jump the airport walls.

But the installation will take at least nine months.

“It is a complicated and time-consuming process,” said Bryan Thompson, airport director, (operations).

There have been stray cases of people from the nearby slums jumping inside the airfield endangering aircraft parked close to the periphery.

The advance system will ease the load on the short-staffed Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) that has to waste manpower in guarding boundaries.

The paramilitary force guarding the airport wants to strengthen security cover at the airport entrance and the inside the terminal.

“We got security alerts about a possible fidayeen (suicide) attacks. As a result there is a need to beef up security at airport entrances and increase the frequency of patrolling inside the terminal,” said a CISF official requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to talk to the media.

In 2009 alone, the airport has received 113 terror alerts. According to protocol each alerts lasts for a week, which means that throughout the year the airport security personnel stay on high alert.

Though passenger volumes have increased by 21 per cent since 2006, the number of CISF personnel at the airport is 2,000, against a requirement of 3,000.