Home' Asian Aviation : AAV July-August 2017 Contents AsianAviation | July/August 2017 37
SWELLING PASSENGER AND CARGO VOLUMES, security
breaches and terror attacks on airports — more recently in Istanbul
Ataturk Airport, Turkey, the third busiest in Europe and Brussels last
year — have prompted India to review its security-related protocols
at Indian airports. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF),
responsible for the security of 59 airports, is presently testing a
plethora of smart gadgets such as full-body scanners and smart
CCTVs to make air travel more “secure, safe and easy,” said OP
Singh, director general of CISF.
Asian Aviation has learned that discussions held in 2013 with Israel
on aviation security and technological upgrades will soon be taken
further with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July. Al-
ready, a delegation from Delhi International Airport (DIAL) that met
with officials of Tel Aviv ’s Ben Gurion airport has shared its findings
with the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, regulator for airport security.
Preparedness levels are important. “Higher security needs lower
response and vice versa,” explains Rafi Sela, a security expert and
founder of Israel-based AR Challenges. “Israel is the only country
in the world not following US rules...We have our own security at
airports that host direct flights to Tel Aviv and we do not rely on
anyone or any other system. We have proof that this system works
and even at the high threat level environment this system prevails,”
said Sela. He added the highest threat warnings in the world are
AR Challenges is based on a Trust Based Security concept, which
focuses on intent, checking people with their luggage, controls em-
ployees, and vendors, and creates Trusted Traveller Programmes and
Trusted Worker ID Card systems using 11 technologies.
“It is very frustrating...In the wake of the past incidents, eyebrows
have been raised on why no one is taking advice from Israel,” said
Sela, who has made presentations to the Airports Authority of India
on a model similar to Ben Gurion adapted for India based on the TBS.
“It is a system, not a collection of technologies and procedures...
The first thing that has to happen is a change from regular policing
of crime to counterterrorism defence and response at government
levels of security procedures,” Sela said. Ninety percent of terrorist
prevention in Israel has been enabled by intelligence gathering.
“ We view the passenger as an asset rather than a liability to se-
curity.” Sela said the US philosophy on airport security "is reactive
rather than proactive".
“ The Israelis have just one major airport and its size is smaller
compared to India. Passengers have to report early and logistics
required there are not relevant always to India,” said a security of-
ficial. He added recent events the world over showed use of mere
technology was negated by these incidents. “ We use both technol-
ogy and intelligence,” he added.
However, with limited budgets, the CISF has to constantly strive
towards technological modernisation and skills upgrades for building
a secure environment at airports. Its efforts now to enhance air travel
safety are part of a plan to provide an improved anti-terror cover to
airports that will also include armoured vehicles. Delhi Airport will
also be replacing its 4000 ‘archaic’ CCT Vs installed in 2010 — many
of which are out of order — with ones offering better resolution and
range, a senior official at the airport said.
Training is an essential part of the CISF ethos that has declared
2017 as its “ Year of Training”. It is training 20,000 recruits as India
opens up its regional airports. “Psychological profiling — recog-
nising a possible terrorist — at a distance is an essential,” said V
Khamo, deputy inspector general at the CISF training centre at
Arakkonam, near Chennai. “ To elevate our standard of training,
we hold joint exercises with the Indian Navy and National Security
Guard,” she added.
Indian officials say the explosive growth in commercial aviation and more frequent terror attacks
point to a need for heightened security. Contributor Neelam Mathews explains.
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