Customs tightens airport vigilance to plug loopholes

Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 month ago | 11-08-2022 | 06:00 am

Customs tightens airport vigilance to plug loopholes

Even as airport employees have been accused of involvement in organised gold smuggling rackets at the Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport, it is the short-staffed Customs department and its Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) that has borne the brunt for lack of vigilance that allowed hundreds of kilograms of gold to be sneaked into India without payment of customs duty.However, in the aftermath of two organised gold smuggling rackets being busted by the DRI on July 11 and 24 this year, security has been tightened on arrival at the international terminal (T2).Mirror has learnt that while airport employees with access could go in and out of the terminal without restrictions, the new measures put in place mandate that only those on the duty roster at any given time, and with authorisation from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) would be given access to the terminal.Earlier, checking of regular airport staff was intermittent, while now all employees will be subjected to frisking and have to compulsorily gain access only through the Door Metal Frame Detector (DFMD) to make sure that no illicit material is smuggled out of the terminal.The Customs department has also begun profiling all personnel posted in sensitive and critical areas for vetting and checks will be conducted regularly.In the first racket busted on July 11, the gold was smuggled out through the VIP lounge which has a door connecting the departure and arrivals halls of T2. This door has now been designated restricted access for only Customs and Immigration officers.In cooperation with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) that handles all security at the airport, the Customs department has sought and received live feed of CCTV cameras in the international terminal at their own control room.Persons allowed into the arrival hall to welcome dignitaries without diplomatic immunity will not be allowed to step beyond the conveyor belt area, said sources.The Customs staff at the airport has been short-staffed since the pandemic. With general transfers imminent by mid-August, there is likely to be an increase in personnel and rise in night duty staff.Customs officials, who currently have restricted access across sensitive areas of the airport, are likely to seek more wide-ranging access from the BCAS to make sure “at least airport employees are not involved in smuggling activities”.

Google Follow Image


Similar News

Chandigarh International Airport named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh
The Indian Express | 18 hours ago | 28-09-2022 | 07:35 pm
The Indian Express
18 hours ago | 28-09-2022 | 07:35 pm

Chandigarh International Airport was Wednesday renamed Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport on the legendary freedom fighter’s birth anniversary.Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the plaque in a ceremony held at the airport.ਸੱਚੀਆਂ ਨੀਅਤਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਮੁਰਾਦਾਂ ਨੇ…ਸ਼ਹੀਦਾਂ ਦੀ ਧਰਤੀ ਤੋਂ ਸਹੁੰ ਚੁੱਕੀ ਸੀ…ਅੱਜ ਆਪਣੇ ਕੌਮਾਂਤਰੀ ਹਵਾਈ ਅੱਡੇ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਸ਼ਹੀਦ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਨਾਮ ‘ਤੇ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ…ਸ਼ਹੀਦ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ‘ਤੇ Research ਲਈ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀ, ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ‘ਚ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਤਰਫੋਂ ਇੱਕ Chair ਵੀ ਸਥਾਪਿਤ ਕਰਾਂਗੇ…1/2 pic.twitter.com/brFgP07lXx— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) September 28, 2022https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is reaching all corners of the country. Every time we see the faces of our worthy freedom fighters, their names on our public buildings, we remember the sacrifices done by their generations. We don’t take our freedom for granted,” Sitharaman said on the occasion.Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya and his Punjab counterpart Banwarilal Purohit expressed their delight on the occasion stating Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s “true devotion towards our Motherland will remain an inspiration forever”.Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways and Civil Aviation General (Retd.) V.K. Singh, who was also present on the occasion, said the naming of Chandigarh Airport after Bhagat Singh by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a prestigious moment for the nation.“Bhagat Singh is an inspiration for millions of youth of the country and this is a befitting tribute to his glorious memory,” he added.Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann thanked Prime Minister Modi and welcomed the decision of naming the Chandigarh Airport after Shaheed Bhagat Singh.Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on his part said that the young generation should draw inspiration from Bhagat Singh’s sacrifice and established values.Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher was also among those present on the occasion.Chandigarh International Airport Limited is a joint venture of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in association with the governments of Punjab and HaryanaPresently, the airport is connected to Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kangra, Kolkata, Kullu, Leh, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, Pune and Srinagar in the country. Internationally, the city is connected to Dubai and Sharjah.The airport handled 17,936 international passengers and 2,271,233 domestic passengers in the year 2021-2022. In addition to this, the airport has also handled about 11000 MT of domestic air cargo in the financial year 2021-2022.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had during his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme on September 25 said that the Chandigarh airport will be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh as a tribute to the great freedom fighter and the government’s promptness is visible in the fact that the same stands achieved within three days of the announcement.

Chandigarh International Airport named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh
Rahul Bose fumes about airlines on Twitter, accidentally tags woman with the same name
The Indian Express | 1 day ago | 27-09-2022 | 05:35 pm
The Indian Express
1 day ago | 27-09-2022 | 05:35 pm

Actor Rahul Bose took to Twitter and expressed his fury at Vistara airlines. However, he accidentally tagged a woman of the same name, who later modified her bio and added ‘Not an airline’. Rahul shared his disappointing experiences on the micro-blogging site, saying that he was not able to find lounge access at the Ahmedabad airport, and complained about tasteless food.Rahul wrote, “Apathetic ground staff, no lounge access for business class passengers, delayed boarding, food that looked intriguing but was deceptively inedible, mask protocol moody at best. Have flown @vistara four times this week. Erratic on all metrics. Today’s #UK956 Ahd-Bom case in point.” He accidentally tagged a woman instead of Vistara airlines. Her bio now says, ‘Not an airline’.A representative from the airline responded, “Hi Mr. Bose, we are concerned to note your agony. We regret that currently, we do not have a lounge tie-up at Ahmedabad airport. We are constantly working on making necessary enhancements. With regard to other concerns, we request some time to check with our team. Please allow us time till we get back. Your patience in the interim will be highly appreciated. Thanks, Aishwarya.”Apathetic ground staff, no lounge access for business class passengers, delayed boarding, food that looked intriguing but was deceptively inedible, mask protocol moody at best. Have flown @vistara four times this week. Erratic on all metrics. Today’s #UK956 Ahd-Bom case in point.— Rahul Bose (@RahulBose1) September 26, 2022However, Rahul was in no mood to be placated and continued, “You clearly don’t regret it because the ground staff person (I don’t want to mention names) casually, almost bored, without a hint of embarrassment (you have to hand it to her for sheer chutzpah), said there was no lounge facility for Business Class passengers. Zero apology!”Rahul Bose had visited Ahmedabad to meet the teams before the rugby tournament at the 2022 National Games of India. On the work front, he was last seen in Eternally Confused and Eager for Love. He will now be seen next in the film, Salaam Venky.

Rahul Bose fumes about airlines on Twitter, accidentally tags woman with the same name
Airport to be ‘no-fly’ zone for 2 hrs from Oct 13 to 22
Ahmedabad Mirror | 4 days ago | 25-09-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
4 days ago | 25-09-2022 | 06:00 am

Preparations for the upcoming defence expo, to be held at Gandhinagar from October 18 to 22, have started.The Ministry of Civil Defence and the Ministry of Civil Aviation have declared the airspace of Ahmedabad airport as a ‘no-fly zone’ for two hours in the evening from October 13 to 22.The ministries have declared NOTAM (notice to airmen) for the air show of fighter planes that will be the main attraction.The NOTAM at the airport will last for a total of 10 days. It will start on October 13 and end on October 22 and last for two hours, between 4.25pm and 6.10pm. During the two hours of NOTAM, in the evening, the arrival and departure of any plane within 30km radius of Ahmedabad Airport and up to 20,000-feet height will be halted.This proposed change will affect the schedule of some passenger flights arriving at Ahmedabad airport, which will result in disruption of flight timings. As per sources close to the development, “Many countries of the world and companies producing defence equipment and war weapons are participating in the expo. Fighter planes from these countries will be brought to the Ahmedabad airport.”The biggest attraction of the defence expo will be the air show by the fighter planes. India’s most advanced fighter planes and helicopters will also be part of the show.According to sources, the country’s Tejas and Sukhoi, as well as Chinook and Rudra helicopters will also be shown.

Airport to be ‘no-fly’ zone for 2 hrs from Oct 13 to 22
7 flights hover over city awaiting nod to land
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 week ago | 19-09-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
1 week ago | 19-09-2022 | 06:00 am

Heavy air traffic at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport on Sunday morning resulted in seven flights that were to land at the airport being unable to do so. They thus had to hover above the airport for some time before being allowed to land.Airline sources said the ongoing construction of the taxiway on the runway was also affecting airline operations. Sources said the aircraft traffic is heavy at the airport on weekends with a flight being cleared for take-off or landing every 10 to 15minutes.Flight congestion took place on Sunday morningOn Sunday morning for an hour between 7.30 AM to 8.30 AM, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) gave clearance for take-off to an aircraft every 10 minutes. Since the runway had a lot of congestion for flights that were to take off, a clearance could not be given to those that wanted to land.This resulted in seven flights of airlines like Indigo, Vistara and Emeritus having to hover over the airport during different periods.Apart from this, sources said, the ongoing construction work of the taxiway on the runway also results in repeated flight delays.Delays burn ATF, escalate costs for airlinesA source said that when a flight has to hover above the airport waiting to get permission to land it results in wastage of air turbine fuel which adds to the overall expense of an airline.Seven flights that were impacted• Mumbai-Ahmedabad (Indigo)• Kolkata-Ahmedabad, (Indigo)• Hyderabad-Ahmedabad, (Indigo)• Delhi-Ahmedabad, (Indigo)• Mumbai-Ahmedabad,(Vistara)• Delhi-Ahmedabad, (Vistara)• Dubai-Ahmedabad,(Emirates)

7 flights hover over city awaiting nod to land