Security agencies guarding Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport have been put on high alert following the Air Traffic Controls (ATC) ‘regular spotting’ of suspicious flying objects which appeared thrice in and around the airport on Friday morning, said a report published on Hindustan Times.
Earlier on Friday, the flying objects were first noticed by an air force officer, said the report.
On Tuesday too, the ATC had apparently noticed a flying object (a drone) over the runway, but had no visual evidence to support its claim, the report added.
According to the report, the pilot of an Air Vistara flight from Bhubaneswar had complained of being distracted by a laser beam right while landing at IGI’s runway 29 on Wednesday night, putting the lives of hundreds of passengers at risk.
The pilot claimed that he was six nautical miles away from runway when he observed the laser beam, which distracted him, the report said.
“A member of Indian Air Force (IAF) sits at the ATC tower of Delhi airport. At 10:44am on Friday, he first noticed a flying object over runway 9-27, the smallest runway of Delhi airport. He reported two more objects at 10:50am and 10:55am, flying outside the airport boundary. On Tuesday, an ATC staff had claimed of having spotted a drone-like object but could not support his claim with any evidence. This time also, we do not have any evidence. But this is alarming,” the report quoted an airport official as saying.
The report quoted sources as saying that the IAF even pressed a chopper into action to check the flying object. But the helicopter could not find anything.
A meeting of Intelligence Bureau, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and Delhi Police had been conducted and the IAF had been asked to keep a strict watch on aerial threats, sources added.
Sources further said that the IAF has been authorised to shoot down any suspicious objects if need be. The CISF, which is responsible for the security of airport, have been asked to keep a watch on the air side.
“Even the ATC radar couldn’t capture anything on Tuesday. On Friday, some staff claimed that the radar had captured a flying object. But later we found no evidence. No one is sure as to what is happening. But we have put everyone on alert as we do not want to take any risks, especially with the VIP movements due to the India-Africa Forum Summit,” the official added.