India orders airports to ban visitor entry due to security concerns

21 January 2016 (Last Updated January 21st, 2016 18:30)

India's Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has issued an order to all regional and international airports in the country to stop sale of entry tickets to visitors in the wake of growing terror concerns.

India's Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has issued an order to all regional and international airports in the country to stop sale of entry tickets to visitors in the wake of growing terror concerns.

BCAS has ordered all the airports to immediately stop the sale of entry tickets to visitors. This move will bar visitors from accompanying passengers till inside the airport terminal.

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), the company that operates the Delhi Airport, has urged domestic passengers to report at least two hours before their scheduled departure times and the international passengers to report at least three hours before.

"Every year, security is increased before important days like the Republic Day and Independence Day."

There have been individual announcements by different airlines too - while Air India has urged its passengers to arrive three hours before the flight departure time, IndiGo has announced that it would close its check-in counter one hour prior to the scheduled departure, The Economic Times.

The Central Industrial Security Force that looks into the airport security is also undertaking a thorough profiling of passengers.

Any suspicious flyer will have to go through a detailed check and their baggage will be scanned even before approaching the security check area.

At the security check area, all passengers will be asked to put their shoes, belts and jackets on the x-ray scanner belt.

The cabin bags will also be opened and checked even after they pass through the scanners.

BCAS has urged airlines to carry out a complete secondary ladder point security (SLPC) at all airports as per which airlines staff will screen passengers and their hand baggage just before they board the plane, reported The Times of India.

These strict security measures have been imposed following the terror attack at Pathankot Air Force Station in the first week of January 2016 by a heavily-armed terrorist group, who were dressed in the attire of the Indian Army.

The airports across the country have been put on high alert ahead of Republic Day, which falls on 26 January.

An official was quoted by the Times of India as saying: "Every year, security is increased before important days like the Republic Day and Independence Day. But unlike every year, this year, the Pathankot attacks have forced us to further tighten the security measures put in place."