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Govt deploys Air Force personnel at key airports

The deployment follows Govt invoking ESMA to deal with the strike called by airport employees countrywide from midnight tonight.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 11, 2008 10:08 PM IST

To deal with any contingency in the wake of strike call by airport employees countrywide, 479 Air Force personnel were on Tuesday positioned at 21 key civilian airports to man essential services.

The personnel have moved to all the 21 airports, which include major airfields in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore to handle any contingency arising out of the strike, an IAF spokesman said in New Delhi.

The moving of Air Force personnel follows government invoking ESMA (Essential Services Maintenances Act) to deal with the strike, signalling toughening of stance by the authorities.

The Air Force personnel moved to civilian airfields comprising Air Field Safety Operators, the spokesman said.

These include fire fighting personnel with their equipment, personnel trained in marashalling aircraft and those who can operate special vehicles on the tarmac.

The Airport Authority Employees Joint Forum (AAEJF) has announced that it will launch an indefinite strike from midnight tonight following rejection of their demand to continue operations of existing airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

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