1,000 additional CISF personnel to ramp up security at Delhi airport
After 10 years, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is all set to increase its strength at the Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport (IGIA).
The ministry of home affairs had recently sanctioned an additional force of 1,000 personnel recently. Senior officers of the security force, which manages security in the country’s airports, said this was required with the Delhi airport undergoing expansion and the increased footfall. Currently, there is about a 4,500-strong CISF force at the airport.
Of the 1000 personnel, 30% will be women officers.
Assistant inspector general, CISF, Hemendra Singh said the deployment of the additional force will be done in phased manner starting next month.
“The last time the CISF got additional strength at the airport was in 2010. We got 2,500 additional people during Commonwealth Games which took out strength up to 4,500. After almost 10 years, we again felt the need of more manpower as 2010 onwards the airport’s passenger footfall has increased from 29.95 million passengers ten years ago to 69.2 million passengers in 2019. Also, the airport went on to increase destinations from 98 in 2006 to 149 destinations in 2019,” the officer said, adding that these advancements also urged the airport operator to further expand the airport and take its overall capacity to 100 million passengers per annum.
The undergoing expansion work that is expected to be complete by 2022, will introduce integration of the departure and arrival terminals of Terminal-1 (T1), construction of new T1 apron, a fourth runway and dual elevated taxiway at Delhi airport.
“With so much happening, CISF will also need more manpower as number of counters, mochas, watchtowers, baggage screeners, approach road barricades and terminal gates that are manned by the CISF round the clock will also increase. Number of bomb disposal and detection squad will also be increased as required after the terminal expansion. In January we expect to get 200 of the sanctioned strength and rest will follow in months to come. At least 30% of these are expected to be women personnel. Once they join the airport, we will decide their deployment,” the officer said.
It was in 2000 that the CISF was tasked with airport security in the aftermath of the IC-814 hijack, starting with Jaipur airport. Delhi airport got CISF security cover in 2003, with a strength of 2000 personnel.