Vinay Kumar

New policy will do away with formalities for getting aircraft for NSG commanders

DGCA can look for first available passenger aircraft at airport for transporting NSG commandos The effort is to avoid wastage of time for operations against hijackers

NEW DELHI:Toughening its anti-hijacking policy, the Government has cleared a proposal that will enable the National Security Guards (NSG) to commandeer any available aircraft for launching "hot pursuit" of hijackers.

This step will do away with the need for the NSG to requisition an aircraft, put its commandos on it, chase the hijackers and, if need be, storm the hijacked aircraft.

With the Government nod for the latest proposal of the security agencies and the Civil Aviation Ministry, it would mean that NSG commandos face "zero time loss'' in looking for a passenger aircraft at the airport for transporting them in case of a hijack.

Saving time

"Precious time is lost in requisitioning an aircraft and going through the procedural rigmarole.

"It happened in the case of the IC-814 hijack during the previous National Democratic Alliance regime when the NSG commandos had to be rushed to Amritsar but the hijacked Indian Airlines aircraft could neither be prevented from taking off from there nor could the commandos reach in time to storm it and rescue the passengers," sources in the Ministries of Home and Civil Aviation explained.

The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) can now look for the first available passenger aircraft at the airport in which commandos can travel.

"The idea is not to disturb the flights where passengers have already boarded and cause a disruption," the sources said.

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