Millennium Post

‘Airports core security ops not being privatised’

No core security activity is being privatised at airports across the country and only non-core security is being outsourced, government said in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

“No core security activity is being privatised. Core security is with the government. Only non-core security is being outsourced to involve them in areas like baggage pick up as trained manpower is required. We follow the pattern of security as laid down in the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security,” Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said when asked whether core security was being outsourced.

To a question on installation of inland baggage screening equipment to prevent long queues at airports, the Minister said it is an expensive system and its installation depends on the number of passengers at airports. “The system is in place at some airports. But it depends on the number of passengers. Where passengers are high, the equipment will be installed,” Raju said, adding that this was a dynamic process.

In his written reply, he said, there are no laid down regulations on reporting time for air travellers at airports. 

“To avoid inconvenience to air passengers due to recent security alert in the country, an advisory was issued by Air India advising its passengers that check-in will commence 3 hours prior to departure and closed 45 minutes prior to departure for domestic passengers and 60 minutes for international passengers,” the Minister said. 

He said that appropriate security measures are put in place at various airports depending on the threat perception and intelligence inpouts. “Further course of action is decided from time to time based on the security requirements,”he said.

Replying to another question, Raju said a new terminal costing Rs 327 crore is expected to be in place at Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun by November 2018. Maintaining that this airport in Uttarakhand has become congested, he said “there is a proposal to build a new terminal there at a cost of Rs 327.09 crore and the consultancy is being given right now. We expect it to be in place in November 2016.”

On Pantnagar aiport in the state, he said Air India currently has four flights from there and the state-run carrier plans to increase it to six weekly flights. “They are in talks with state government on a viability gap funding. We hope that will materialise and the flights will increase to Pantnagar also,” the Minister said.

He also said a policy is in the making which proposed to make non-operational airstrips to become operational. Raju said the state governments have been requested to bring non-operational airports in shape so that flight operations become possible.

AAI to create additional posts of traffic control officers
To meet growing manpower needs for air traffic management, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will create additional posts of air traffic control officers. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma on Tuesday said there is no acute shortage of air traffic control officers (ATCOs). 

“In order to meet the current and future requirements i.e. to cope with the growing requirement of air space and air traffic management, the AAI board has approved creation of additional posts of ATCOs in various grades,” he said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. 

Through US-based Washington Consultancy Group, AAI had conducted a study on long-term manpower requirement for air traffic management. “As per this report, the requirement of ATCOs would be 3,599 up to the year 2020.,” Sharma said.
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