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Surat airport finally gets much-awaited CISF security

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) took over the security arrangements at the Surat airport on Wednesday

Surat airport finally gets much-awaited CISF security

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) took over the security arrangements at the Surat airport on Wednesday. Around 360 armed personnel have been inducted for providing a counter-terrorist cover at the airport, officials said. Surat is the 65th civil airport under the aviation security group (ASG) of the central force that functions under the Union home ministry.

Formal induction ceremony for deputing CISF jawans was held on Wednesday at the airport premises in presence of state BJP president C R Paatil, minister of home (state) Harsh Sanghvi, district collector Ayush Oak, mayor Hemali Boghawala, MLA Zankhna Patel, Sangita Patil and city police commissioner Ajay Tomar.

Surat is the biggest diamond cutting and polishing hub of the country and as per officials, the airport handles over 1.25 lakh passengers per month.

The Centre had sanctioned the manpower for the airport in the middle of the year 2020 but the CISF induction at the facility, run by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), kept getting delayed due to logistical issues, officials here said.

A deputy commandant rank officer will head the CISF contingent, they added. The Surat airport has regular commercial flights connecting major domestic destinations like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangalore among others. Earlier, the airport was guarded by personnel of the Gujarat Police and their reserve units since 2003. In Gujarat, the CISF already guards the airports at Bhuj, Bhavnagar, Vadodara Ahmedabad, Rajkot, and Porbandar.

City police will start a police post under the jurisdiction of Dumas police station at the airport premises which will work in coordination with airport authority and CISF.

The 1.62-lakh personnel strong paramilitary force is designated as the national civil aviation security force and the government has earlier said that it will be gradually given the charge of more and more civil airports.

The CISF, as per its existing protocol at other civil airports, will provide a 24x7 armed cover to the facility, and frisk passengers and their luggage ahead of boarding a flight.

The troops will be armed with assault rifles like the AK series and INSAS, and will man the airport perimeter from watch towers erected at vantage positions apart from having a vehicle-borne quick reaction team, an officer had said earlier.

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