Money collected from big airports to help expand CISF security cover
Money collected from bigger airports would now be used to fund the security of smaller airports. In order to bring uniformity in the security, the civil aviation ministry would provide Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) cover at 39 more airports.
As of now, of the 100 operational airports, 61 are covered by the CISF while the rest are covered by the local police, which, say security experts, is not ideal.
The ministry has created a consolidated fund of passenger security fee which will be used to pay for CISF cover on smaller airports.
“We have issued an order related to aviation security fee in June this year, where not only did we raise the fee a bit, we decided to create a common pool from which the money will be distributed to the security agency. This will help us ensure the same standard of security
at every airport,” said a senior civil aviation ministry official.
In the past two years, many new airports have come up under the Regional Connectivity Scheme. Though the CISF had offered to provide frisking staff at minimal cost, most of these airports have local police personnel who are not equipped to provide aviation security.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had asked the CISF to do a study on core and non-core jobs at small airports.
“The objective of the RCS is to provide air travel at a low cost. Putting the CISF at smaller airports would increase the operational cost, which we do not want. But at the same time, we cannot compromise with the security. A meeting was held last month where it was decided that gradually, the CISF will take over the remaining 39 airports that include airports in Jammu and Kashmir,” said another ministry official.