ASF: Govt to consider ICAO proposal

New Delhi: The government would consider a proposal to create a dedicated Aviation Security Force (ASF) in view of increasing terror threats to airports and other aviation infrastructure.

The proposal is part of a series of recommendations made by the UN-body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on restructuring the aviation security system, including the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), official sources said here. ICAO was commissioned by the government last year to review the entire gamut of issues relating to aviation security and recommend measures.

Its consultants carried out a special study on restructuring BCAS administration, setting up of a dedicated ASF for airports, design an operational framework for aviation security, striking the right balance between security and passenger facilitation, among other things. The ICAO committee has recently submitted its report to the Civil Aviation Ministry which would come up for consideration soon, the sources said.

Currently, all airports are guarded by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). It is administratively under the Home Ministry but is guided by the BCAS, which at times creates functional problems, they said. Following certain "glaring lapses" observed during security drills, the government decided to go ahead with a comprehensive review of aviation and airport security, including giving BCAS the powers to bite.

In January, a ICAO team conducted a security audit of India`s aviation sector under the Universal Security Audit Programme and found India to be "one among the top few countries which have complied with all the global standards in aviation security in the aviation industry today".