Against drones, Indian airports have take-it-easy policy

By ankur sharmaFirst Published 7, Mar 2019, 5:03 PM IST
Highlights

The agencies responsible to secure airports in New Delhi and other places have been waiting for an anti-drone policy since the past four years

New Delhi: India faces a serious air threat from Pakistan, especially after the pre-emptive strikes in Balakot undertaken to avenge the Pulwama terrorist attack, but still it lacks an anti-drone policy. 

The agencies responsible to secure airports in New Delhi and other places have been waiting for an anti-drone policy since the past four years. The ministry of civil aviation is yet to finalise a policy for shooting down suspicious unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and deciding the roles of various agencies. 

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) director general Rajesh Ranjan said that the policy is getting prepared with the roles of various agencies, including Indian Air Force (IAF), being established. He said that currently there is a temporary SOP (standard operating procedure) which provides for roles of different agencies.

“We are in process of preparing a policy regarding suspicious drones or UAVs. Various agencies are working on it and soon it will be ready,” Ranjan said.

Also read: Pakistan continues to snoop on India following Balakot strikes, gets punished again

When asked how security agencies will handle a drone attack, Ranjan replied, “Currently, we have a temporary SOP, which has provided for roles of all agencies in case of an attack. I would not like to share further details,” Ranjan said.

According to operating procedures at present, the CISF is responsible for air security of an area of up to 500-700 meters around airports and can take a decision to shoot down suspicious drones. However, if it’s an oversized drone, only the IAF can take a decision as they are equipped with radars and other technology to detect intrusions.

Also read: IAF to power Sukhoi jets with same bombs that razed Jaish terror camp in Balakot

“Earlier, it was decided that the IAF will be responsible to handle any aerial attack, but the IAF was given the responsibility of bigger-sized UAVs. Later, the CISF and local police were asked to keep a check on small-sized UAVs and the CISF can shoot down any drone or UAVs deemed to be suspicious, flying around or inside the airport premise,” a senior CISF official told Mynation.

India has already shot down two Pakistani drones along the international border.

Last Updated 7, Mar 2019, 5:11 PM IST