CISF to take over security of sensitive Shirdi airport by end of this month

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will take over the security of the hyper-sensitive Shirdi airport by the end of this month.

The force, which provides security to 59 of the 98 operational airports in the country, has completed the audit of the Shirdi airport that was inaugurated in October last year.

The CISF will put 180 personnel on various duties such as frisking, anti-hijacking and patrolling.

At present, the local police is responsible for security but on the request of the Maharasthra government, a survey was conducted to assess the manpower and equipment needed.

“A joint team of the CISF, Intelligence Bureau and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has conducted the survey and submitted the report. The unit will be headed by a deputy commandant and we will require 183 personnel for the airport. All the necessary approvals have come and we are in the final stage of paperwork, following which personnel will be deployed,” said a CISF official, requesting anonymity.

Another CISF officer said since heavy traffic was expected at the airport, the personnel strength would be reviewed and enhanced whenever required.

“The CISF will look after the core security job and will be posted at the entry gate, for frisking and at the air side too. Outside the terminal area, local police will be deployed to ensure security at the city side. At metro airports, CISF also looks after city side security, which is not required at Shirdi,” the officer added.

The force said CCTVs installed at the airport were sufficient but they may have to install more baggage X-ray machines and door frame metal detector.

The Shirdi airport has a 3,200-metre runway, a terminal building spread across 2,750 sq mt and a hangar to park four aircraft.