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Govt to develop New Delhi, Mumbai airports soon

January 17, 2003 14:50 IST
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The government is shortly going to move ahead with the process of developing airports at New Delhi and Mumbai to international standards, Civil Aviation Minister Shahnawaz Hussain said on Friday.

"Let there be no confusion about it. Government wants to develop New Delhi and Mumbai airports to world-class standards and we will take steps very soon," he said after inaugurating a new office building of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security's Delhi region near New Delhi airport.

Stating that BCAS was playing the role of security regulator in the field of civil aviation, Hussain said the agency was responsible for the security of 2 crore (20 million) air travellers each year, including 72 lakh (7.2 million) from New Delhi.

He said a new Academy on Civil Aviation Security would come up in New Delhi, the work on which would start in a few months.

While Central Industrial Security Force personnel had been posted at 45 airports, sky marshals had been introduced in all airlines, including the private ones, he added.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Shripad Y Naik said the aviation security personnel would be given behavioral and technical training to bring them on par with their counterparts abroad.

Airports Authority of India was spending Rs 180 crore (Rs 1.8 billion) a year on about 10,000 CISF persons posted at 45 airports.

BCAS chief T K Mitra, a former director of Special Protection Group, said 9/11 was a "defining moment" for aviation security as new areas of threats and technologies to meet these threats had opened up.

He also stressed the need for making security requirements user-friendly.

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