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NSG can now requisition commercial aircraft

January 24, 2009 15:55 IST

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a gazette notification under the National Security Guard Act, empowering the NSG Director General or an Inspector General of the force authorized by DG NSG to requisition aircraft from any operator registered in India in the interest of public safety for public service.

In the context of recent incidents in Mumbai, the power to commandeer an aircraft for quick movement of the troops/contingents came to the focus. Presently, while NSG can commandeer an aircraft for a counter hijack operation, there is no provision for requisitioning an aircraft from a commercial operator for an anti-terrorist operation for troop movement.

To empower authorized officers in the government to be able to requisition an aircraft from an operator registered in India, Ministry of Civil Aviation issued a gazette notification on January 22 under the provision of the Aircraft Act 1934.
Using this power, an officer of the central government not below the rank of joint secretary to that government in the ministry of civil aviation or ministry of home affairs can requisition aircraft from any operator registered in India in the interest of public safety.

With these notifications in place, NSG will be able to get an aircraft at a short notice for moving its commandos for anti-terrorist operation anywhere in the country.

A Corrspondent in Delhi