Friday, December 08, 2017

CISF to ramp up hiring, embrace technology

New Delhi: In October, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) concluded a month-long passenger feedback survey across major airports. Most passengers were satisfied with the services with except the waiting time for security inspection. The exponential growth of air passengers has resulted in a challenge for the understaffed agency, which maintains security at airports.

Take for instance the case of Delhi Airport, the busiest in the country. In 2017, it handled around 56 million passengers, a growth of 55 percent from 36 million in 2013. But the number of CISF personnel deployed at the airport remained stagnant at 4,300. “There is an urgent requirement to expand, both in manpower and technological advancement, for the force,” O P Singh, director general, CISF, told Business Standard in an interview.

Singh said according to internal projections done by the force, it will require an additional 19,000 personnel in the next five years just for aviation security. The CISF, which is responsible for guarding the government’s industrial establishments, currently has 27,000 personnel for aviation security and is stationed at 59 of 98 airports “For the first time, a five-year projection has been done by the force keeping in mind the fast growth in air traffic. We have submitted the report to both the home and civil aviation ministries,” Singh said.
What has added to the force’s worry is the tendency of airlines to club flights during peak hours. Airports in metro cities are already overcrowded and airlines are finding it difficult to get slots, often clubbing flights during the morning and evening peak hours. More flyers mean longer queues at airports and the CISF fears unless there is a massive ramp-up in hiring, Indian airports may turn chaotic and lead to unhappy passenger experience. “While passenger traffic has increased across airports, it is abnormally high during peak hours in the morning and evening. This has led to undue pressure on our boys for faster clearance,” Singh said.
08/12/17 Arndam Majumder/Business Standard