60 suspicious flying objects sighted at IGIA in 3 months

Show: India Aviation - Day 3

The Delhi International Airport witnessed over 60 unidentified objects in its air space in three months from October last year. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Director General Surender Singh, during an annual interaction with journalists here, said a total of 62 such incidents have been reported from October 27 last year till today.

“These objects, however, like toy balloons, kites, Chinese balloons among others. It is very difficult to make out (about the kind of the flying objects with naked eyes),” Singh said. The DG said the government will soon come out with “operational guidelines” to tackle such cases after a similar incident was reported late last year when a suspected drone-like object was spotted near Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) runway.

“This is a general problem which is not only at the airport. There are other sensitive installations too (near the airport area). Soon guidelines will be out determining the responsibility of each agency in such cases,” the CISF boss said. While CISF is the overall in-charge for airport security in the country, it is assisted by local police and the Indian Air Force, more pro-actively at sensitive facilities like IGIA.

Officials said new guidelines or standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all airports are required while dealing with such potential threats as there are multiple stakeholders in civil aviation security and hence, a clear chain of command and task is required to thwart a possible aerial attack by using these gadgets. The CISF boss was also asked about the menace of hoax calls received at airports. The DG said while 44 such calls were received last year at across various airports the force is deployed at, 16 such calls have been made till now this year. “These instances are considerable...but we take them all very seriously. We assume them to be genuine and all the procedures are undertaken to check them,” he said. The DG said that the idea of a much-talked about proposal to deploy CISF men on-board Indian merchant vessels to protect them in pirate-infested waters has been ‘shelved’.