Airports all over the country were put on high alert after Air India’s operation control centre in Mumbai received a phone call threatening to hijack its plane to Pakistan following which Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) ordered all airlines and CISF to ensure enhanced security protocols.“The call was made to the Air India Mumbai airport operation control centre late Friday, threatening to hijack an aircraft to Pakistan. While it has been classified as a non-specific threat, we have taken it seriously in view of current situation,” an AI official said.
Following the threat call, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) issued a list of security measures to be undertaken by airlines and airport operators with immediate effect. These new protocols were laid after the passage of Parliament passed Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill in 2014 to deal with the hijacking of an airplane.
Strict access control to regulate entry to terminal building, airside, all operational area and other aviation facilities, intensive checking of vehicles entering car parking area to preclude possibility of car bomb attacks, enhanced screening of passengers, staff and visitors including enhanced random screening at the main gate, enhanced screening and protection of hold baggage, cargo, cargo terminal, catering, emails, etc, surveillance through CCTV cameras as well as manual surveillance in and around the terminal building and operational areas, quick reaction team and perimeter patrolling to be strengthened, and manning of all cargo gates and vehicle entry gates will be strengthened with strong-armed support, reported PTI.
Air India Kolkata-Guwahati flight AI 729 received a hoax bomb threat call at 8:20 am Tuesday. The security agencies took close to an hour and half to clear the aircraft. It took off around noon, two hours after its scheduled departure time of 9:50 am. All 114 passengers are safe, the spokesman said.