Security Lapse at Delhi Airport: Intruder Breaches Airside Perimeter
In a startling breach of security, a man was apprehended at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) for unlawfully entering the airside area. The incident, which took place on January 27, a day following India's Republic Day, raises significant concerns about airport safety protocols.
On this late evening, the pilots of an Air India flight, having just landed, were the first to spot the intruder. According to reports, the man crossed in front of their aircraft around 11:30 pm. The air traffic controllers were immediately informed, who then alerted the Airport Operation Control Centre. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) promptly detained the individual and handed him over to local police.
The man's intrusion into such a high-security zone, especially at DEL, India's busiest airport, is alarming. The airport, encircled by a robust perimeter wall, seemed insufficient to deter the intruder, who scaled it to access the runway. The incident's timing and location, in the heart of India’s capital just after a national holiday, adds to the gravity of the situation.
Authorities reported the man appeared intoxicated and possibly under the influence of drugs. Treated as a significant security lapse, the incident has prompted the authorities to implement stringent measures to prevent any future occurrences.
Coinciding with this security incident, DEL continues to grapple with operational challenges due to persistent foggy conditions. The airport has been issuing advisories regarding delays induced by dense fog, a common occurrence in North India during this time of the year. The fog has led to several flight disruptions, including international services from Riyadh, Bangkok, Frankfurt, and Copenhagen.
Recent weeks have also seen passenger unrest due to these fog-related delays. Notably, a man assaulted an IndiGo pilot following a delay in his Delhi-Goa flight. In another incident, passengers of a Goa-Delhi flight, diverted to Mumbai, refused to vacate the tarmac, adding to the airport's current challenges.