Strict security measures at airports ahead of Indian general election

Publish: 7:58 PM, March 16, 2019 | Update: 7:58:PM, March 16, 2019

NEW DELHI – The Indian Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has issued a detailed circular to strengthen security measures at the airports with an aim to curb the movement of unauthorized arms, contraband goods, cash and bullion.

The BCAS had issued the circular in the wake of the announcement of Model Code of Conduct for the forthcoming Indian general elections-2019 scheduled to begin next month, official sources said here yesterday.

The election to 543 seats of the Lok Sabha will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19 and the results will be declared on May 23.

Apart from measure to strengthen the security at the regular commercial airports, special measures have been introduced to check flights from uncontrolled, remote, airstrips, aerodromes, helipads and private airstrips.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and AAI and the Air Traffic Control (ATC) shall inform state police, BCAS and income tax department about these flights in advance, the circular said.

ATC shall share records of not only scheduled commercial flights but also private aircrafts or helicopters to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the state and the DEO of the district, in which the airport is located as early as possible, preferably half an hour in advance.

The DGsP of states shall deploy police units to check these flights as per direction of Election Commission and extant rules and regulations of BCAS in this regards.

The operators of all private aircrafts, helicopters must declare the contents of the baggage and suitcases carried on these flights to CEO of the states, DEOs of the districts, state police and IT Department, according to the circular.

With an aim to keep strict vigil over movement of cash through all airports, Income Tax Department and CISF will extend all requisite cooperation for checking and surveillance activities.

Besides, officers of BCAS will be conducting surprise inspections at these airports to check the compliance of these instructions, the circular added.