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Kolkata airport conducts mock security drill; focus on bomb threat

An official said such mock exercises tend to emulate real-time threats in an airport that might pose danger to both passengers and aircraft.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Just a few days after a bomb threat in a flight that landed at Kolkata airport created much stir, the airport authorities today conducted a security drill to ensure the safety of passengers in times of threats in a real-time scenario.

The Kolkata airport authorities informed that such drills are carried out once every two years to check the readiness of the airport stakeholders that are involved in the vital functioning of the airport. An official said such mock exercises tend to emulate real-time threats in an airport that might pose danger to both passengers and aircraft. Since security threats are evolving in nature with time, the airport authorities and stakeholders are also adapting according to the threat, said the official.

Recently, the arrests of terrorists from West Bengal, Kerala and Lucknow, has led security agencies to add more teeth to the protocols. Sources said all airport authorities and security personnel have been on high alert ever since the drone attack in the Jammu airport.

It was only this month a week back when the airport received a tip-off from the military liaison unit about the possibility of an explosive inside an aircraft that flew into Kolkata from Dubai. It though later turned out to be a hoax, airport sources claimed that it showed the readiness with which the airport responded. To handle the situation, a meeting was convened to assess the bomb threat and the measures to be taken in case the explosive was found within the Boeing aircraft.

The Bomb Threat Assessment Committee (BTAC) which comprises CISF, airport officials, Bidhannagar Police and the airline security personnel boarded the flight after landing. They conducted a thorough search of the aircraft, passengers, and luggage. The aircraft was taken to a secluded area within the airport premises for precautionary measures.

Kolkata airport authorities claimed today’s mock drill witnessed participation from CISF, airlines and subsequently a debriefing was held where the participants shared their views and feedbacks. This an airport official said helps in bridging any gaps which become apparent through such security drills.