Securing our airports

The issues associated with policing airports in the UK are considered. One fundamental issue is who funds the police operations. Nine UK airports including Heathrow and Gatwick were 'designated' under the Aviation Security Act 1982 and as such have a structured policing operation, the costs of which are recovered from the airport operator. The arrival of low cost airlines operating from smaller airports has led to the expansion of non-designated airports such as Leeds Bradford. Individual forces provide such uniformed policing support as they see fit and the airport operator is not obliged to pay for them. This has resulted in a lack of consistency. A review of airport security in 2002 (the Wheeler Report) resulted in the establishment of the Multi Agency Treat and Risk Assessment (MATRA) process to consider security issues. In 2005 the government commissioned an independent review of airport policy by Stephen Boys Smith. The review endorsed the principle of joint accountability for airport security between the police and airport operators and recommended that there should be continued and enhanced liaison between key stakeholders, that the MATRA process should be strengthened and that the existing system of 'designation' should be discontinued. The actions taken at Leeds Bradford airport are discussed.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 24-7
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 115
    • Issue Number: 5925
    • ISSN: 0309-1414

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01061111
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Sep 10 2007 2:23PM