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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

Responding to 40-50 false alarms daily, Delhi airport to get new intruder detection system

The Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS), which currently guards the Delhi airport’s perimeter, has been triggering false alarms. Officials say sometimes around 40-­50 false alarms are triggered in a day.

delhi Updated: Oct 25, 2018 12:12 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CISF security personnel during the security check at IGI Airport T3 in New Delhi.
CISF security personnel during the security check at IGI Airport T3 in New Delhi. (Ravi Choudhary/HT Photo)

The much talked-about Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS), installed at the Delhi airport to alert security agencies of any intrusion from the airport’s boundary wall, is likely to be replaced with a much more advanced technology. The step has been taken after Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) could not completely fix the technical glitches that the PIDS suffers.

Officials in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is responsible for airport security, said PIDS generates around 40-50 fake alarms a day. An officer, however, said that the number of such fake alarms are decreasing every year.

Earlier this month, the CISF had written to DIAL to let a private security solutions company demonstrate the new technology. A senior CISF officer said the letter was sent after it was found in a recent security survey that the PIDS is not functioning properly.

A document from the security survey conducted in September, which is with HT, mentions that “PIDS is functioning well at Hyderabad airport. However, the system is not functioning properly at Delhi and Mumbai airports.” The document also read that at the rest 57 airports, the PIDS is yet to be installed.

“In Delhi, a number of false alarms were generated by the system on its own. The system is also under maintenance for over past one year by an Israeli firm, which had manufactured it. These false alarms lead to security drill several times a day causing waste of time and manpower,” said the CISF officer requesting anonymity.


Trying to fix the problem
A private security solutions company has demonstrated a much more advanced intrusion prevention system recently
What is Perimeter Intrusion Detection System
  • Developed in 2012 by DIAL in accordance with the BCAS
  • A four-layered physical and covert detection system mounted over 8-foot boundary wall
  • Has over 200 CCTVs and 35 watchtowers and 25km patrolling track around the airport
  • Till last year, PIDS generated more than 100 fake alarms a day
  • Every alarm follows a rigorous security drill to ensure security
  • Skips alarm despite intrusion
  • Is under repair for the past one year
Past breaches at IGI
  • April 2017 A man sneaked into the Palam Air Force station at IGI Airport and reached up to the technical area, managing to evade the multi-layered security cover
  • Sept 2016 Just two days after the Uri attack, a man scaled the perimeter wall of IGI Airport and roamed around the runway area with a bag in his hand, unnoticed for almost 30 minutes
  • April 2014 A 16-year-old boy jumped inside the airport undetected and wandered near an active runway

Last week, after the aviation security summit concluded, a private security solutions company that had earlier helped the Border Security Force develop an intrusion prevention system in border areas demonstrated a similar technology at the Delhi airp or t’ s New Udaan Bhawan.

The demonstration was conducted for DIAL, the airport operator, and the CISF. Additional director general of the CISF (airport sector) MAG an apathy confirmed that the demonstration was conducted for both CISF and the DIAL. However, he refused to divulge further details. A mail sent to DIAL to seek its response remained unanswered.

Another senior CISF officer who did not wish to be named, said, “We have apprised the security solutions company with our requirements. They will now modify the technology according to our demands and another demo will be conducted. The existing PIDS will be razed after the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) gives a nod to the new technology.”

According to standard operating procedures of the CISF, each time PIDS generates an alarm, commandos from the quick reaction team are rushed to the boundary to check for intrusions.