RAWALPINDI: An intelligence agency has expressed concerns over loopholes in the security of the new Islamabad airport and has suggested “extreme vetting” of those residing in surrounding areas.

According to sources in the agency, it has been suggested that experts equipped with the latest technology should be deployed to ensure security is not breached.

The official Dawn talked to said Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel will be deployed on more than 80 watch towers built around the airport to keep an eye on suspicious activities.

It has also been suggested that intelligence agencies be involved in vetting residents of the area, especially recently settled families and madressahs.

Some construction projects in the area have been delayed due to security reasons and the proximity of the airport funnel area to the motorway could pose many risks since any vehicle can force its way into the restricted area.

Editorial: New Islamabad airport

It was suggested that a fence be established on both sides and a police checkpost be set up outside the premises so no one can enter the restricted area.

According to the sources, ASF will take control of the airport runways on April 12 and the security of the airport terminal will be taken over later on.

Pakistan Rangers have already been deployed at the airport.

VVIP movement will be conducted through the PAF Base and the Benazir Bhutto International Airport till construction work on state lounges at the new airport is completed.

Shifting of airport staff

Adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation Sardar Mehtab Khan has called a meeting of all private airlines heads to discuss shifting of Technical Ground Services (TGS) from Benazir Bhutto International Airport to the new Islamabad International Airport.

According to sources, the meeting will be held at Benazir Bhutto International Airport on Tuesday at 2.30pm.

Besides the heads of all airlines, the secretary Regional Transport Authority, airport manager and other officials concerned will participate in the meeting.

The adviser to PM on aviation will discuss transportation of passengers along with their luggage to the new airport and other transportation facilities for private persons working at the airport and daily wage staff.

Pick and drop of the airlines staff members have also been an issue due to long distance of new airport from the downtown city areas.

The adviser to PM on Aviation is expected to carry out an inspection visit to the new airport before inviting mediapersons to visit Pakistan’s first Greenfield airport.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2018