Bhubaneswar; Dec.16: A mock drill exercise was conducted at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA), on Tuesday to check the efficacy of the contingency plan to handle unlawful interference to civil aviation.
This was an annual exercise to revamp the security mechanism and operational preparedness at the airport to make it safer.
A simulated flight from Delhi to Kolkata was made to mock hijack by a pseudo terrorist group and was forced to land at Bhubaneswar airport.The first information was conveyed to the ATC by the pilot of the pseudo aircraft. Immediately the whole security apparatus of the airport got activated by the authorities.
Sharad Kumar, Airport Director on receiving the alert message immediately activated the Aerodrome Committee at the Airport.
Officials of AAI, CISF, Airlines, State Police, BBDS and State IB assembled at the airport to take stock of the situation and guide the Air Traffic Control for resolving the issue.
After landing, the pseudo aircraft was guided by the Air Traffic Control to the Isolation Bay where the aircraft was cordoned off by the CISF Personnel. The pseudo aircraft was immobilized by placing other vehicles on its path.
The Aerodrome Committee chaired by the Principal Secretary to the Govt. Department of Home, Shri Asit Kumar Tripathy, IAS, negotiated with the pseudo hijackers and after a protracted deliberation brought the situation to a conclusive and safe end. The mock drill commenced at 15.30 Hrs and concluded at 16.48 Hrs.
Observers for the drill were detailed by all the stakeholder agencies to observe the performance of the drill. All the observations from different sensitive points were discussed and noted for necessary improvement in the future drills.
As per the Aerodrome Committee Chairman, this type of exercises should be conducted regularly and the security apparatus must be updated keeping the threat perception in our country in mind.