The BCAS is responsible for handling and laying down security policies of all commercial flights. Several security agencies working at the airports like Intelligence Bureau, immigration officials, security personnel, local police, abide by regulations passed by BCAS.
Discussions over taking control of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) that is currently under the purview of Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is ongoing as the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is set to move a proposal to the Cabinet Committee on Security, says The Indian Express. The move initially was proposed by MoCA on the basis that security at airports is provided by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
According to The Indian Express report, a senior government official has said, “The discussion to take control of BCAS has been on for a while. We have finally decided to vest it in the MHA’s internal security wing, and a Cabinet proposal will be moved soon.” The BCAS is responsible for handling and laying down security policies of all commercial flights. Several security agencies working at the airports like Intelligence Bureau, immigration officials, security personnel, local police, abide by regulations passed by BCAS.
However, Ministry of Civil Aviation which currently is in charge of BCAS is reluctant to let go off the security wing, on this issue the official said, “Discussions in this regard have been held at the top level involving the PMO and NSA, after which this decision has been taken, keeping in mind the safety and security of airports. Once the Cabinet gives its approval, the CISF will assume a larger role in airport security.The new set-up will help in better coordination and monitoring, since the CISF, IB and state intelligence all report to MHA.”
The official added that the move may be a bit heavy on the pocket of the passengers as there are chances in the surge of passenger security fee since CISF will be deployed in all the 98 airports across the country. Another reason cited by the official for this move is attributed to the grants given by MHA of security clearances in airports. According to the Express report, “In the past, there have been inordinate delays in granting clearances due to differences between the MHA and MoCA on the grounds that airlines and airports have not complied with the norms despite guidelines,” said the official. The official further stated that the Aviation Secretary has written to the PMO for expediting such clearances earlier this year.