Mumbai: The Mumbai international airport was on Sunday put under heightened security alert following inputs from central intelligence agencies about a possible airborne attack on the country’s busiest airport.
The alert was issued from New Delhi, sources said.
Without identifying any terror group that could possibly strike at the Mumbai airport, the Intelligence Bureau report said it could be like a 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre.
However, when contacted, a senior official of the Air Intelligence Unit at the Mumbai airport, as well the Sahar Police, under whose jurisdiction the airport falls, said they had not received any fresh intelligence inputs from the IB since Friday.
Earlier this month, the IB had warned that a small plane could be used to carry out an airborne terror attack on the Mumbai airport, following which security was beefed up at the airport.
A spokesperson of the Mumbai airport said, “To check the preparedness of the all the security wings of the airport, there was a mock terminal evacuation drill between 01:35 and 02:10 pm at the busiest airport today.”
“During the drill, domestic terminals 1A and 1C were successfully evacuated within the given time,” she said adding that the airport regularly conducts such mock drills.
Meanwhile, security agencies have alerted that a private aircraft from the Hubli airport in Karnataka could be used to carry out an attack on the Mumbai airport. The fear of such an attack remains till 15 November.
According to the guidelines issued in the alert, access control and security arrangements at the Kalina VIP gate and other gates leading to terminal areas as well as parking bays, should be re-assessed and secured.
Following this, security has been tightened at the airport, CISF officials said.
The alert also reportedly said that any permission to use a private aircraft from Hubli to Mumbai should be denied, unless the bona fides are well-established.
The IB alert gave three possibilities for the attack on Mumbai airport. The first possible option is that a private aircraft may hit the main terminal building. Secondly, terrorists may gain entry through the Kalina VIP gate and a private aircraft may be taken over from the airport, which could be taken off and returned shortly to direct strike on the terminal building.
Third possibility is that a truck could be packed with explosives driving through the Kalina gate and ramming into the terminal building.
The IB report further warns that the nearby Juhu airstrip should also be put under surveillance and ensure that helicopters or small planes would not take off from the seaside airstrip, which is under the control of the Airports Authority.