BA chairman outlines airport security measures

THE chairman of British Airways Martin Broughton has attacked current airport security measures, and offered a series of new steps to improve freight and passenger safety.

Speaking at the Annual Aviation Lecture of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in London, Broughton questioned why airport security in the UK needed to be more complex than on the continent.

“The difference between the UK and the European baseline consists of 168 pages of UK regulation including 200 additional ‘More Stringent Measures’. Many of the differences are trivial – so why have them?” Broughton said.

He criticised the UK’s security authorities for not backing new screening machines that would have allowed laptops to stay in bags and highlighted US spot checks that had led to a BA board director and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger being given additional screening.

The BA chairman went on to criticise US airfreight rules, introduced with just six days’ notice, that require additional checks on US-bound goods that have already been flown. He said new US rules applying to the UK mean that cargo will have to be re-screened, will require additional resources, could lead to increased risks of hygiene of some goods and theft of others.

Broughton has outlined the adoption of a series of measures that could deliver improved quality of security while paying much more attention to the needs of passengers and freight customers:

Adoption of a holistic approach instead of adding burdensome rules every time there is a new security incident; a risk-based approach to replace the current ‘one-size-fits-all’; adoption of security that operates in unpredictable ways to deceive terrorists; multilateral agreements on what constitutes a good security regime and mutual recognition of such regimes; recognition of domestic as well as foreign terrorists; and encouragement of investment in technology that speeds up and improves the security process.

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