Indian airport police told to smile less (or not at all) in the name of security

Indian airport police are crunching down on smiles from broad to sufficient in the name of airport security. (Photo: iStock)
Indian airport police are crunching down on smiles from broad to sufficient in the name of airport security. (Photo: iStock)

Armed police at Indian airports have been told to cut down on smiling, with officials blaming the 2001 US terror attacks partly on an excessive focus on friendliness, local media reported Tuesday.

The Central Industrial Security Force, in charge of aviation safety, will move from a "broad smile system" to a "sufficient smile system", the Indian Express said in a front-page report.

READ: Passport Guidelines 101: Could smiling for your ID photo protect your identity?

The English language newspaper said the move was aimed at making the CISF "more vigilant than friendly".

"We cannot be over-friendly with the passengers because one of the reasons cited as to why 9/11 happened... was excessive reliance on passenger friendly features," CISF director general Rajesh Ranjan was quoted as saying.

Ranjan also said CISF personnel would be trained in behavioural analysis by international consultants.

WATCH: Navigating the chaos of travelling by train in India

India has witnessed a six-fold increase in passenger numbers over the past decade as citizens take advantage of better connectivity and cheaper fares in the highly competitive sector.

But airports are struggling to cope with the surge and analysts have warned that the government needs to spend billions of dollars to boost capacity and safety.

SEE: Say goodbye to your passport: Biometric airports across the world 

Earlier this month the government said some domestic flyers would be soon able to leave their boarding passes at home, thanks to proposed facial recognition technology at airports.

Find Your Escape by searching and comparing flight prices here. You can also sign-up for the Traveller24 Weekly Newsletter – Subscribe here. Or download the News24 App here, to receive expertly curated travel ideas and deals directly to your mobile. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When planning for the Black Friday sales do you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Save, research and plan ahead, preparing to make the most of it?
8% - 945 votes
Wait and see what looks like a good deal on the day?
14% - 1784 votes
Have no interest in spending more money this year?
78% - 9814 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.26
(-0.57)
ZAR/GBP
20.36
(-0.35)
ZAR/EUR
18.17
(-0.56)
ZAR/AUD
11.21
(-0.19)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.58)
Gold
1812.33
(+0.18)
Silver
23.35
(+0.40)
Platinum
953.00
(-0.42)
Brent Crude
47.84
(+3.78)
Palladium
2331.00
(-0.28)
All Share
57792.38
(+0.05)
Top 40
53010.26
(-0.07)
Financial 15
11623.80
(-0.44)
Industrial 25
79955.70
(-0.21)
Resource 10
52720.98
(+0.29)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo