The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) manning the Thiruvananthapuram international airport, one of the “hyper-sensitive” airports in the country, will soon be armed with an exclusive bomb disposal squad, including a dog squad, for anti-sabotage checks.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had recently decided to deploy such squads in all major airports. Initially, the airport will have a squad of two dogs trained in detection of explosives. The authorities are trying to procure the best pedigree pups of Labrador and Cocker Spaniel breeds. The AAI has commenced steps to construct a kennel near the CISF barracks near the Ponnara bridge. The AAI has allocated Rs.70 lakh for constructing 10 kennels . Only seven kennels are being constructed now. “The dog squad is the first step towards setting up an exclusive round-the-clock bomb disposal squad,” Airport Director G. Chandramouli said.
When the squad is set up, the CISF will not have to depend on the city police and State agencies for carrying out anti-sabotage checks in the wake of bomb threats to the airport.
The squad will need state-of-the-art protection gear like ‘bomb suits' and helmets . The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) will have 10 trained personnel and sniffer dogs. The personnel will be equipped with robotic bomb defusing system, long-range wire cutting system, explosive detection system, bomb suppression blanket, blast containment ring and bomb basket. Sources said over Rs.75 lakh was needed for procuring these gadgets.
Since 2006, a BDDS of the CISF is functioning at the Nedumbassery International Airport. The CISF personnel manning Karipur airport will also get an exclusive bomb disposal and dog squad.