Air India flight delayed as sky marshal detained with weapon at BIA – report

Chennai-bound Air India (AI) flight was delayed by over four hours at Sri Lanka‘s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo on May 6 after the sky marshal of the aircraft was detained by the security agency with a weapon at the BIA airport.

“The sky marshal was detained at the transit terminal (passengers) area with loaded firearms, delaying the flight by over four hours,” an official with knowledge of the incident told ANI.
In India, sky marshals or flight marshals were introduced in 1999 after the hijacking of the flight Air India IC 814 in Kandahar to prevent hijacking in future. Sky marshal travel with loaded firearms/weapons in passenger (commercial) aircraft and can also take action in the aircraft for the purpose of preventing hijacking. Sky marshals are recruited from the National Security Guard (NSG) India‘s elite commando force.

According to the rules, “the sky marshal is strictly prohibited from taking his weapons out of the aircraft and if the security officer wishes to exit the aircraft, he must hand the firearm over to the aircraft‘s pilot in command (PIC).”

According to sources, “The matter was reported with the Indian High Commission in Colombo and the issue was resolved diplomatically.”
A statement from Air India was not available till the time of publishing the story.