After years of deliberations, the security of the ultra-sensitive Srinagar airport, along with the two others in Jammu and Kashmir, will change hands. Given the rising threat assessment by intelligence agencies, the Ministry of Home Affairs cleared the proposal for handing over the security of Srinagar, Jammu and Leh airports to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
Currently, the security at these airports, which handle almost 54 lakh passengers annually, is managed by the state police and the Central Reserve Police Force.
The civil aviation ministry has promptly issued an order for the same. The home ministry order dated November 12 asks the Ministry of Civil Aviation to initiate the process for the “induction” of CISF at these airports by preparing the ground for a survey.
Top civil aviation ministry sources said that the switch is aimed at bringing these airports at par with uniform standards of airport security all over the country and upgrade the quality of passenger experience in airports in the state which witnesses a high volume of tourists.
Currently, 59 of the 98 airports in the country are under the CISF security cover and the MHA and civil aviation ministry are discussing how to bring more airports under CISF cover in a phased manner.
The ministry of civil aviation along with the MHA is also carrying out a security audit to allow passengers to carry hand baggage at these airports. Currently these airports allow only check-in baggage and passengers have to go in for an elaborate baggage identification procedure at the time of boarding at the departure terminal.