Vinay Kumar

DGCA can look for first available passenger aircraft at airport for use of NSG commandos

NEW DELHI: The Centre has cleared a proposal that will enable National Security Guards (NSG) to commandeer any available aircraft for launching "hot pursuit" of hijackers.

With the latest decision, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the regulatory body, can look for the first available passenger aircraft at the airport in which commandos can be put and is in a position to take off within a few minutes. "The idea is not to disturb the flights where passengers have already boarded and cause a disruption, it is to see which aircraft has landed, offloaded the passengers and can take off without any delay.

The aircraft can belong to any domestic Indian carrier, private or State-owned.

It can be readied for transporting NSG commandos in case of a hijack," according to sources.

Last year, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government had reviewed the anti-hijacking policy, laying down guidelines that there would not be any negotiations with the hijackers and efforts would be made to disable the hijacked aircraft from taking off for another destination.

Task-oriented force

Modelled on the pattern of SAS of the United Kingdom and GSG-9 of Germany, NSG is a task-oriented force and its personnel, drawn from the Army and Central and State police forces, are trained to undertake high risk in counter-hijacking and counter-terrorist operations.

As per a Government decision, NSG personnel are also performing duties as "Sky Marshals" in flights.