Security breach at Delhi airport

By: Mohit Sharma    

MiD DAY has a video clip that shows passengers of a GoAir flight roaming on the taxiway, a highly restricted area, when no shuttle arrived to ferry them several minutes after the plane had landed on Thursday evening
Security breach at Delhi airport (Video)

It appears to be a walk in the park. A video clip available with MiD DAY shows a bunch of passengers strolling on the taxiway at Delhi airport after a Srinagar-Delhi flight landed here on Thursday evening. The video footage clearly shows how about 25 people reached the taxiway after they didn't find the shuttle to take them to the airport. The aircraft was parked in bay no. 21.

Easy street! In this videograb, a group of passengers are seen
straying onto the taxiway while trying to walk to the airport building.

The commuters are boarding a shuttle after it finally arrived. Pics/Mid Day

The GoAir flight (G8-457) landed at Delhi at about 5 in the evening. The plane was to leave for Mumbai next as a new flight.  When the passengers couldn't find a shuttle even after several minutes from aircraft evacuation, a group of commuters started walking towards the taxiway to reach the airport building. However, when one of the officials saw them - by then the people had already reached the taxiway - they rushed to the spot and took them back behind the no-entry line. The video was shot by an airport official, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Sources at the airport said that it is not a usual practise and is absolutely prohibited as walking on the taxiway is very risky. "An aircraft is huge and if its engine is on the ejected gases can throw you several metres if you come in too close. Everyone should take precautions in preventing such a thing and passengers should not be allowed beyond a certain point (a line which is marked, called the 'yellow line')," sources said.

"At some airports where there is not much air traffic or resources, some airlines practise this (walk the passengers up to the airport from the runway), but at Delhi airport this certainly should not have happened," sources said.

The video shows that it was only after around a group of passengers reached the taxiway, a white jeep - which belongs to GMR and is called 'follow-me' - ostensibly taking rounds to keep a tab on the activities at the runway and ensure that no violations are happening, came and asked them to go back. Had they not spotted them the passengers might have gone on towards the main airport entrance from the runway.

Out of sight
Besides, sources said that even in terms of security it was not something that should have happened as anyone can become a security threat if he/she goes away from airline officials' sight.When contacted, GoAir officials said that they have forwarded the case to senior officials and they are awaiting response from them.  
Aviation expert, N Shashank, who was previously working with airlines and is now into aviation Consulting & Support, said: "As per security norms no passenger can enter taxiway.

Only ground security staff works there, and that too when they are connected through wireless. It is bizarre if some passenger had entered the taxiway as he/she may get injured and this can even lead to security breach. Airport is one place which is under high surveillance and proper protocol is followed. If a group of passengers have been recorded on camera walking on the taxiway then the matter should be inquired into."

Do you know?
A taxiway is a path on an airport connecting runways with ramps, hangars, terminals and other facilities. They mostly have hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete, although smaller airports sometimes use gravel or grass.