Millennium Post

Brussels aftermath: Flyers asked to take off footwear, belts

Amid a heightened alert in wake of the Brussels terror attacks, security agencies have stepped up vigil at sensitive airports in the country with passengers being made to take off their footwear and belts and undergo a detailed frisking.

At major airports such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and local police have shored up security apparatus and passengers are being observed and screened minutely with reintroduction of risk-based Secondary Ladder Point Check (SLPC), which entails frisking people before they enter the aircraft.

The surveillance and patrol teams along the peripheries have also been asked to be extra cautious as passengers enter the terminal area unchecked.

While fliers at many such airports are being asked to take off their footwear and belts to undertake a “clean search”, a second layer of profiling-based body search and frisking is being conducted just before passengers board the aircraft.

“More hands are deployed when such security drills are made operational. The security staff is certainly more at certain sensitive facilities and changes will be made as per the level of threat indicated by central intelligence agencies,” a senior official involved in airport security said.

Another official said the hand baggage and booked cargo of fliers has also been brought under detailed search as part of the stepped-up security drills and measures put in place in wake of the terror attacks in airport and metro station at Brussels that left 31 people dead and 300 injured on Tuesday.

Airlines and special teams of the CISF and airport security have been asked to conduct risk-based SLPC, which entails frisking passengers on the air side just before entering the aircraft. They said these instructions are for people, who appear suspicious and hence not all passengers have to go through the SLPC.
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