The next time you visit airport, you will notice a change in the way CISF personnel welcome you as Security personnel at airports have been told to cut down on smiling. They have been clearly instructed not to be over-friendly with passengers and shift from a ‘broad smile’ concept to a ‘sufficient smile’ theory to welcome the passengers. This action was brought to the checklist so that the officials can focus on improving their security.
When asked about imparting soft skills to CISF personnel for better interaction with passengers, the force’s Additional DG and chief of aviation security M A Ganapathy said:
“From broad smiles, we are now coming to a sufficient smile system as focussing on the core area of ensuring fool proof security is more important".
He was briefing the media about the two-day ‘international aviation security seminar’ that will begin from Tuesday. CISF Director General (DG) Rajesh Ranjan echoed his views and said an over-stress on just enhancing soft skills of the airport security personnel had its own pitfalls.
“We cannot be over-friendly with the passengers because one of the reasons cited as to why 9/11 (the 2001 terror attack on twin towers in US) happened…was excessive reliance on passenger-friendly features where security personnel went out of the way to ensure that the passenger is facilitated, thereby compromising on security,” the DG said.
“So, friendly smiles are good but focus should be on the core duties (of security) that we perform at the airports as also rightly pointed out by the ADG. Also, the behaviour and discipline of CISF personnel have been analysed by many agencies and I can say that we shine above the world in this domain.,” he added.
The paramilitary force guards 60 civil airports of the country at present and has also made a case for installation of body scanners for passenger screening and procurement of body-worn cameras for its personnel to make security system robust at airports.