CISF, NSG get home ministry nod to shoot down UFOs near Indira Gandhi airport | india news | Hindustan Times
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CISF, NSG get home ministry nod to shoot down UFOs near Indira Gandhi airport

While the term UFOs is generally used in the context of alien aircraft, in this case, they refer to any unidentifiable object flying near the airport. These could be drones or balloons.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2018 09:33 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Until now, Central Industrial Security Force and National Security Guards officials had to convey the threat to all agencies concerned, trace the object and then decide on ways to bring it down.
Until now, Central Industrial Security Force and National Security Guards officials had to convey the threat to all agencies concerned, trace the object and then decide on ways to bring it down. (PTI/File Photo)

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and National Security Guards (NSG) can shoot down so-called Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) seen near Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, where several such instances have been reported in the past year.

A committee set up the home ministry has authorised the shooting of these objects. While the term UFOs is generally used in the context of alien aircraft, in this case, they refer to any unidentifiable object flying near the airport. These could be drones or balloons.

According to senior CISF officers, a March meeting held to review the Delhi airport’s security ended with several changes being made in the rules of engagement with flying objects. The home ministry has been considering a policy allowing CISF and NSG to shoot down such flying objects across the country since last year.

“The review committee comprised officials from the ministry of civil aviation (MOCA), bureau of civil aviation, directorate general of civil aviation, the Delhi Police, CISF, NSG, Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) and other agencies concerned. The MOCA had sought suggestions on how to handle UFOs at IGI. In this regard, certain guidelines were made and CISF and NSG were given permission to shoot down UFOs identified as dangerous,” a CIDSF officer said on condition of anonymity.

He said there are certain parameters based on which the agencies will take such action. “The flying object must deemed a threat, carry explosives or harmful items such as chemicals, be near a sensitive area of the airport or engage in any act harmful to human life or machinery. Only in such situations will the UFOs be shot down.”

Until now, CISF and NSG officials had to convey the threat to all agencies concerned, trace the object and then decide on ways to bring it down.

In April, a balloon-like object grounded an Air India flight with 188 passengers on-board after it got stuck in the engine of the Delhi-to-Srinagar flight. The plane had to make an emergency landing. Officers said that had it been a drone, the aircraft could have been severely damaged . Last December, an unidentified flying object led to disruption of flight operations and affected as many as 15 departures and arrivals at the Delhi airport. A detailed hunt for the UFO was made but it cold not be found, despite the air traffic control (ATC) capturing it on its radar.

A week before that, an Air India flight arriving at the IGI Airport faced off with a drone-like object, prompting the pilot to immediately report the matter to the ATC. Seconds later, another flight that took off to Leh, also reported spotting the same flying object.

The UFO menace at IGI
UFO sightings suspected to be balloons, drones, Chinese lanterns have hit flight operations at IGI airport a number of times
However, no such UFOs have ever been captured by the security agencies despite appearing on ATC’s radar
On any such sighting, the Airport Operations Control Centre, which comprises CISF, Indian Air Force, DIAL, Delhi Police, is alerted
A detailed search within the airport premises and on the outer periphery is conducted to check out the threat, until which all flight operations are put on hold
Recent horrors
April 29, 2018 A balloon-like object got stuck in the engine and grounded an Air India Delhi-Srinagar flight with 188 passengers on board.
Dec 28, 2017 An unidentified flying object led to disruption in flight operations and affected around 15 departures and arrivals.
Dec 15, 2017 A drone-like UFO and an Air India flight landing at IGI airport almost had a face-off, triggering the Air India pilot to immediately report the matter to the Air Traffic Control. Seconds later, another flight to Leh also spotted the smae flying object.
March 31, 2016 An UFO spotted over the apron area of IGI airport. It, however, disappeared before security forces arrive.
March 13, 2016 A balloon-like structure spotted close to an operational runway at the Delhi airport.
January 27, 2016 Another unidentified object spotted in the vicinity of the airport, but could not be traced.
October 30, 2015 An UFO spotted over runway 27 thrice before it completely disappeared from the radar
Oct 27, 2015 Another suspicious object spotted over runway 29 by ATC officials.