The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) took over security aspects at Surat airport. According to sources, over 360 armed troops have been inducted to provide counter-terrorist cover at the airport.
Surat is the 65th passenger airport under the control of the central force's Aviation Security Group (ASG), which is part of the Union Home Ministry. On Wednesday, State Minister of Home Harsh Sanghvi, State BJP president C R Patil, City Mayor Hemali Boghawala, District Collector Ayush Oak, MLA Zankhna Patel, City Police Commissioner Ajay Tomar, and Sangita Patil attended a formal induction ceremony for deputing CISF jawans at the airport premises.
Surat is the country's largest diamond cutting and polishing centre, with over 1.25 lakh travellers passing through the airport each month. The Centre approved the CISF security for the airport in the middle of 2020, but the induction continued getting delayed due to logistical challenges. The CISF induction at the facility is administered by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). A Deputy Commandant Rank Officer will lead the CISF contingent.
Regular commercial flights connect the Surat airport to important domestic cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata, among others. Since 2003, the airport has been guarded by Gujarat Police officers and their reserve units. The CISF already patrols the airports in Gujarat, including Bhuj, Vadodara, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Ahmedabad.
High Security at Surat Airport
At the airport, city police will establish a police post under the jurisdiction of Dumas police station, which will work in coordination with the airport authority and the CISF.
The 1.62-lakh personnel strong paramilitary force has been recognised as the national civil aviation security force, and the government has previously stated that it will be handed responsibility for an increasing number of civil airports. The CISF will provide armed cover to the airport 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and frisk passengers and their bags before boarding a flight, as it does at other public airports.
Apart from having a vehicle-borne quick reaction squad, the troops will be armed with assault rifles such as the AK series and INSAS and guard the airport perimeter from watchtowers erected at observation points.