AAI-CISF scuffle revives plan for new security body

A proposal for the revival of the civil aviation ministry’s plan to replace the CISF with an Aviation Security Force (ASF) was discussed in the ministry recently.

The proposal, mooted by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and opposed by the home ministry, came up for discussion in the aftermath of the scuffle between AAI employees and CISF personnel at Calicut recently which left a CISF head constable dead.

A senior official in the ministry said, “We discussed a lot of things related to the incident and ASF was also discussed. The incident is being inquired into and a preliminary report will be submitted soon.” The official added that the ministry was already discussing removal of CISF from about 12 airports to save on cost. “This plan is independent of the Calicut incident and is being done to save cost of providing security at airports,” he said. The ministry believes that the average cost of the new ASF will also be much less than the cost of deploying CISF personnel at airports across the country. CISF was chosen for managing airport security after Indian Airlines flight, IC-814, was hijacked by terrorists in 1999. It manages security at 59 airports across the country.

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