The Director General (DG) of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has raised concerns about the harassment faced by passengers at airports by Customs, ASF (Airport Security Force), and ANF (Anti-Narcotics Force).
The officials from these agencies reportedly threaten passengers with jail and extort money from them.
The Senate Aviation Committee, led by Chairman Hidayatullah, held a meeting to discuss these issues. During the meeting, it became evident that there is a lack of coordination among the agencies operating at airports. The CAA expressed dissatisfaction with Customs, ASF, and ANF.
The DG CAA highlighted the lack of coordination among these agencies, stating that they do not sit together or have joint search counters at airports.
This lack of cooperation and coordination hampers their effectiveness. Instead of working together to check passengers, each agency focuses on collecting refunds or money from passengers individually.
The DG emphasized that the policy of having joint search counters is not being followed. As a result, passengers’ luggage is checked multiple times, causing inconvenience. The CAA can provide necessary resources and facilities, but it is the responsibility of the agencies to develop a proper mechanism.
Although scanners are installed, ASF and ANF do not sit at the customs counter, and there is a lack of coordination among the agencies on duty at the airport. The joint search counters remain inactive due to this non-cooperation.
The DG CAA reportedly alleged that passengers are being detained, physically assaulted, and threatened with flight delays, and imprisonment if they do not comply with the demands of these agencies. Instead of ensuring passenger safety, they resort to extorting money.
Furthermore, despite the installation of CCTV cameras throughout the airports, these agencies even object to the presence of cameras. However, the CAA is committed to improving security and has been installing cameras in all areas of the airports, including parking lots.
The DG CAA stressed the importance of addressing these issues promptly to protect the well-being and rights of passengers.