Tighten security at RGI Airport

Published on May 31, 2015 00:59:59 AM

It is matter of disgrace that the RGI Airport at Shamshabad has many loopholes in security, with experts sounding an alarm at a recent multi-agency review held after DRI sleuths nabbed four gold smugglers, including two GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) security wing employees.

Central to security issues considered at the meeting is the finding that on May 25 the GHIAL security wing staffers used their special access cards to pick up 8 kg gold on the aerobridge from the carrier who had arrived by an Emirates flight and handed the same to a receiver from Gulbarga at the airport parking lot. This means they could easily bypass the customs check area by design.

The reported observation of a senior customs official, “… At this rate, the GHIAL security staff can bring in and take out anything from the airport, including narcotics or dangerous material like fire arms and explosives”, deserves a close study by security experts. The expert view that exit has to be compulsorily from the customs check area is valid and hardly needs any reiteration. What is surprising is the specious claim of GHIAL representatives that their security wing personnel need access to all areas, since they are the ones who bring out wheel-chair bound passengers and also passengers with medical emergencies.

It is now essential that security experts put their heads together to find a solution that takes into account the fact that the airport operates from seven levels in the building which has 15 elevators that are used also by private workers having access to the premises, including sensitive areas like customs, immigration and baggage screening areas.

Considering that gold is being smuggled with disturbing frequency from the RGI Airport, clearly due to nexus between smugglers and some of those having access to restricted areas, it is time to put in place a fool-proof security apparatus.