3000 CISF posts at airports abolished, private security to take over

The government has abolished more than 3,000 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) posts as part of a major security architecture overhaul at Indian airports under which non-sensitive duties will be rendered to private security personnel. They will be aided by smart technology tools for surveillance and protection.

In March, Home Minister Amit Shah had pitched for a “hybrid security” model, where the CISF could train and certify private security agencies, so that they could take over the task of guarding various industrial and manufacturing units in the country.

A 2018-19 action plan, jointly initiated by the Union ministries of Civil Aviation and Home, is now being implemented across 50 civil airports, officials said.

The blueprint prepared by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the aviation security regulator, abolishes 3,049 CISF aviation security posts, which will be replaced by 1,924 private security personnel equipped with smart surveillance technology like CCTV cameras and baggage scanners.

The aviation security cost for airport operators will also come down as a result of the decision. A manpower rationalisation analysis has found that many non-sensitive tasks do not require armed CISF personnel and can be performed by private security guards. Besides, certain areas within the airport terminal can be covered with the help of CCTV cameras, a senior security official said.

Private security personnel are being deployed at airports in Delhi, Mumbai and others for non-sensitive duties like queue management, security assistance to airlines staff and passengers, and manning certain entry and exit points within the terminal area, he said.

The CISF will continue to render its core task of checking passenger credentials at entry, frisking of passengers, anti-sabotage drills, secondary ladder point checks and providing an overall counter-terrorist cover to the airports on the city and air side, he said.