CISF to guard runway-facing 5-star Mumbai airport hotel

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), for the first time, will provide anti-terror security cover to a five star luxury hotel in Mumbai – Tata Santacruz, which is part of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport terminal. The hotel, located within the domestic terminal of CSIA, gives a sweeping view of the airport runway as several rooms face it.
Officials said that a full contingent of over 60 commandos of CISF has taken charge of hotel security on June 2.

The cost of the CISF deployment will be borne by the GVK group that operates the CSIA, he said. An official said the vehicle-borne commandos, armed with assault weapons, will secure the hotel area against any terror bid that may occur or emanate from the hotel. The airports’ security force of the country, guarding 59 civil facilities at present, will also provide a 24X7 anti-sabotage cover to the hotel with the deployment of bomb disposal and sniffer dogs units. The official website of the hotel boasts of having “airport runway, city and pool facing rooms.”

The hotel is just a two-minute walk from the domestic terminal and a 10-minute walk from the international terminal of the CSIA. The luxury address, with 279 rooms and suites, is probably the first airport hotel in the country to give the occupants a clear view of the runway. This is the first time that the CISF has been deployed to secure a five-star hotel in the private sector after it was mandated to take up such duties in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

The move assumes significance as CISF cover is sparingly granted to the private sector.
“The CISF men will not render control and access of guests at the hotel but will supervise overall security rendered by the private security and the staff of the hotel,” the official said.
The CISF and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) had jointly carried out a security assessment of the hotel, following which armed personnel of the force have now been deployed.