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Air India gets hijack threat call, BCAS tightens security

PW Bureau 

Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) ordered all airlines and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to undertake specific enhanced security measures

Mumbai: Airports in India were placed on alert on Saturday after national carrier Air India’s Mumbai control centre received a phone call threatening to hijack its aircraft. After the threat, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) ordered all airlines and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to undertake specific enhanced security measures, according to an official note.

Both the Airport Security Unit (APSU) and Aviation Security Group (ASG) are part of the CISF, while Indian Airlines is a part of Air India.

“A telephonic message received by the station duty office, AI (Air India) AOCC (Airport Operation Control Centre) Mumbai, stating information regarding a threat to Indian Airlines flight getting hijacked to Pakistan on 23.2.2019,” stated the BCAS note dated February 23.

The note added, “In view of the above, APSU/ASG and all aircraft operators shall adopt the following (eight) measures with immediate effect.”

India’s air defences are on the highest possible alert as the tensions in the country are high following this month’s Pulwama attack by terrorist militants.

BCAS strengthens security

The BCAS, in a note, issued a list of security measures to enhance safety. It said that the BCAS will take steps for strict access control to regulate entry to the terminal building, airside, all operational area and other aviation facilities. BCAS also pointed out to the need for intensive checking of vehicles entering car parking area to preclude the possibility of car bomb attacks.