Govt undertaking revamp of aviation security activities

New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) The government is undertakinga revamp of the entire gamut of activities relating toaviation security, including restructuring of the Bureau ofCivil Aviation Security (BCAS), and decisions would be takenafter they are approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security.

A series of proposals in this regard have been made bythe Civil Aviation Ministry which were being vetted by theUnion Home Ministry. A Committee has also been set up in theCivil Aviation Ministry to decide on the installation of full-body scanners at Indian airports.

"After the Home Ministry clears these measures, theCCS will take a final view before anything is finalised,"Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi said after inaugurating atwo-day Regional Aviation Security Conference, being heldunder the aegis of UN body International Civil AviationOrganization (ICAO), here.

He replied in the affirmative when asked whether theproposals included restructuring of the BCAS, which lays downaviation security standards and monitors implementation ofsecurity rules and regulations, even through mock exercises.

India has recently successfully undertaken audit ofall major aviation security activities, including air cargosecurity, he said.

To questions relating to installations of bodyscanners as in the US, Ravi said, "Need is being felt tointroduce this technology in India. Some experimentation isbeing carried out on Delhi.

"But there are several issues, including medical andprivacy, which have to be dealt with. There are also questionsrelating to efficacy and efficiency of these equipment."

He said a Committee has been set up to go into theseissues. "We will have to be very careful before taking anydecision. All aspects have to be carefully considered," hesaid, adding that "nothing has been finalised so far."

In this context, the US government is bringing a lawto forbid the posting of an airline passenger''s full-body bodyscanner image on the Internet.

The proposed legislation, introduced last week in theUS Congress, would criminalise any such posting and impose onviolators fines of up to USD 1,00,000 and jail terms of up toone year, official source here said quoting reports.

Similar laws would be needed in India whenever suchAdvanced Imaging Technology is put in place at airports here,sources said.

Asked if any cost of introducing high-tech securitygadgets would be passed on to the passengers, Ravi said, "Idon''t think so. It is the duty of the government to providesecurity." PTI ARC

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