600 CISF commandos take over security of Kannur airport


New Delhi: The CISF Wednesday took over the security of theyet-to-be operationalKannurInternational Airport (KIAL), the largest civil air facility inKerala, with the deployment of over 600 armed commandos, a senior official said.

This is the 61st civil airport in the country that has come under the cover of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) after the Union Home Ministry accorded manpower sanction for the purpose.

The CISF unit will be headed by a Commandant rank officer and the airport, spread over 2,330 acres with a runway length of 3,050 metres, will be operational from the first week of December.

KIAL is about 20-km from the popular tourist town of Kannur and will have common departure and visitor gates for international and domestic passengers and also a common check-in-area.

Kerala has three other major airports at Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram.

"KIAL would be the first airport in India which would dispense with stamping of hand baggage from day one of its operations due to the surveillance systems in place," CISF spokesperson Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Hemendra Singh said.

The CISF is a federal security force which guards strategic installations including airports in the country. It has a special aviation security group for rendering this task.

The security at the airport would be similar to what is seen at 60 other civil airports, the CISF said, adding that quick reaction commando teams and other personnel would be deployed at KIAL to thwart incidents of terror and sabotage.

"In the light of the increased threat perception to the aviation sector across the country, security of KIAL is of utmost importance as thousands of tourists including foreigners will visit Kerala through this airport," Singh said. KIAL will be open to public on December 9.

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