The government is mulling creating a uniform security platform for all airports, including the 45 which were connected under a new regional connectivity scheme. The issue was discussed today at a high-level meeting attended by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Aviation Jayant Sinha, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, besides others.
“We are planning to create a holistic aviation network to get all airports on the same security platform,” an official, who attended the meeting, said. Out of the 98 functional airports in the country, 59 are under the Central Industrial Security Force cover. Among them 26 airports, including those in New Delhi and Mumbai, are in the hyper-sensitive category.
Of these hyper-sensitive airports, 18 are under the CISF cover, while six like Srinagar and Imphal, are being guarded by the CRPF, the state police or other paramilitary forces. Under the sensitive category, there are 56 airports out of which only 37 are under the CISF cover.
The list of airports has gone up to 143 with the inclusion of 45 small airports after the launch of regional connectivity scheme, named ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik’ (Udan).
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The ‘Udan’ is considered to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project as he wants to ensure that more people fly even from small cities. The government has capped fares and is offering incentives to attract airlines to fly on offbeat routes.
Nearly 50 per cent of the seats on ‘Udan’ flights will cost Rs 2,500. The meeting also discussed differences surfacing between the ministries of civil aviation, home and finance over who will bear the cost of providing security at airports.
There was no consensus on the issue and it is likely to go to the Prime Minister’s Office for intervention, the official said.