60 sus­pi­cious fly­ing ob­jects sighted at IGIA in three months


The Delhi In­ter­na­tional Air­port wit­nessed over 60 uniden­ti­fied ob­jects in its airspace in three months from Oc­to­ber last year. The Cen­tral In­dus­trial Se­cu­rity Force (CISF) Di­rec­tor General Suren­der Singh, dur­ing an an­nual in­ter­ac­tion with jour­nal­ists, said a to­tal of 62 such in­ci­dents have been re­ported from Oc­to­ber 27 last year till today.

“These ob­jects, how­ever, like toy bal­loons, kites, Chi­nese bal­loons among oth­ers. It is very dif­fi­cult to make out (about the kind of the fly­ing ob­jects with naked eyes),” Singh said. The DG said the gov­ern­ment will soon come out with ‘op­er­a­tional guide­lines’ to tackle such cases af­ter a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent was re­ported late last year when a sus­pected drone-like ob­ject was spotted near the Indira Gandhi In­ter­na­tional Air­port (IGIA) run­way.

“This is a general prob­lem which is not only at the air­port. There are other sen­si­tive in­stal­la­tions too (near the air­port area). Soon guide­lines will be out de­ter­min­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity of each agency in such cases,” the CISF boss said. While CISF is the over­all in-charge for air­port se­cu­rity in the coun­try, it is as­sisted by lo­cal police and the In­dian Air Force, more proac­tively at sen­si­tive fa­cil­i­ties like IGIA.

Of­fi­cials said new guide­lines or stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures (SOPs) for all air­ports are re­quired while deal­ing with such po­ten­tial threats as there are mul­ti­ple stake­hold­ers in civil avi­a­tion se­cu­rity and hence, a clear chain of com­mand and task is re­quired to thwart a pos­si­ble aerial at­tack by us­ing these gad­gets. The CISF boss was also asked about the men­ace of hoax calls re­ceived at air­ports. The DG said while 44 such calls were re­ceived last year at across var­i­ous air­ports the force is de­ployed at, 16 such calls have been made till now this year. “These in­stances are con­sid­er­able...but we take them all very se­ri­ously. We as­sume them to be gen­uine and all the pro­ce­dures are un­der­taken to check them,” he said. The DG said that the idea of a much talked about pro­posal to de­ploy CISF men on-board In­dian mer­chant ves­sels to pro­tect them in pi­rate-in­fested wa­ters has been ‘shelved’.

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