A review of security arrangements at major airports in the country, conducted by the Union home ministry, revealed that an average passenger walks around almost 40% of the airport unchecked.
The report, which was prepared after reviewing the security of airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai states that it is only at ‘security check’ that a passenger is checked or frisked. The report says that a passenger is allowed entry into the airport building after he shows the ticket along with an identification proof and is not made to undergo any check right until he has reported to the security check or immigration area.
“By this time, the passenger, along with his hand baggage, has already covered 40% of the airport building without any hindrance,” the report says.
The report also says that there is no security at the approach roads to most airports. Only barricades are placed on these roads and any one can reach the airport building without any checks, the report adds.
The report also says it is largely known that photo IDs can be procured easily in the country. “If a terrorist uses the same method, then he can carry weapons into the airport and this would be enough to carry out a a terror attack in the building premises,” the report says.
The report suggests that automatic scanning machines should be installed outside airports. “All cars approaching the airport’s main building should be scanned by automatic scanning machines or by the security men,” the report further states.
Rohit Katiar, spokesperson, Central Industrial Security Force, said, “Such checks are done on a random basis at Mumbai and Delhi airports. It is not possible to frisk every individual and screen their baggage before they enter the airport.” He added that 100% airport checks, as suggested in the report, are undertaken only at Srinagar airport.
Former Intelligence Bureau director, Ajit Doval, however, said there already is a system of check in place at airports.
“A metal detector is kept at the entrance of the airports. Also, a person’s identity is checked by the time he checks in,” Doval said. He added that a mix of intelligence and security apparatus would be better to ensure safety at airport.
(With inputs from Soubhik Mitra)