'More flexible' airport security plans outlined

Proposals for a more "passenger-friendly" approach to security at airports have been outlined by the Government.

Under the plans, airports will be able to have greater flexibility in the way they screen passengers.



Announcing a consultation on aviation security, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said he wanted to move away "from the current highly-prescriptive one-size-fits-all approach" at airports.



One outcome of the new security regime could mean that such measures as making passengers remove shoes will be done far more selectively.



Mr Hammond said he wanted the new regime to be one which "maintains and improves security standards but in a more efficient and passenger-friendly way".



He said: "I therefore propose that the Government should move from prescribing security processes to setting security outcomes.



"This will give airports and airlines greater flexibility to delivery high standards of security in ways that are better integrated with their day-to-day business and designed around the needs of the passenger."







Mr Hammond said the safety and security of passengers remained "of paramount importance to the Government" and he was proposing to require all airport industry operators to develop a security management system.



This would demonstrate a clear commitment to providing an overall high level of security and set out how security outcomes specified by the UK and EU would be delivered.



Mr Hammond said he was also proposing new arrangements where airports would have to regularly report to the UK authorities on their performance.



He added that he planned to introduce a system that allowed "staff to report on a confidential basis any concerns relating to aviation security".



Jim McAuslan, general secretary of the pilots' union Balpa, said he hoped the new regime would help pilots.



He went on: "Pilots are part of the solution to airline security, not part of the problem. It is frankly bizarre that the professionals responsible for safely flying hundreds of passengers every day are currently treated with the same degree of suspicion as high-risk passengers.



"Pilots are routinely held up at security and, like passengers, have their water and other items confiscated. Given the responsibility they are entrusted with, that is clearly ridiculous."







The Government also announced plans that could mean reduced delays for passengers flying in and out of Heathrow airport in west London.



At present, Heathrow operates largely on a runway alternation system, whereby one runway is used for arrivals and the other for departures - with the roles reversed halfway through the day to provide respite from noise for residents living near the end of the runways.



Airport operator BAA can use both runways simultaneously for arrivals to clear major backlogs.



Today Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers said a trial of simultaneous use of the two runways for arrivals and departures in exceptional circumstances would run from November to next February, with a second trial from July to September next year, which would include the period of the London Olympics.



Mrs Villiers said: "These measures have the potential to deliver greater reliability for passengers, while reducing the impact of unscheduled night flights on local communities.



"Trialling these changes will allow their benefits and impacts to be assessed and there will be extensive engagement and consultation with local communities before any decision is taken on whether to make the changes permanent."



John Stewart, chairman of Heathrow anti-noise group Hacan, said: "We understand the need for flexibility during emergencies. The key will be the safeguards which are put in place to ensure that BAA does not abuse its new-found freedom.



"If this does turn out to be the thin end of the wedge, then residents will be up in arms."









Heathrow's security director Ian Hutcheson said the Government proposals had "the potential to bring a fundamental change to how we implement security regulations".



On the runway trials, Heathrow's acting chief operating officer Terry Morgan said: "These measures have the potential to reduce delays, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and reduce unscheduled flights during the night.



"This could be good news for passengers, the environment and local residents."

News
Disruption at Waterloo after a person was hit by a train
newsCancellations and disrupted service after person hit by train
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The almost deserted Liverpool Echo Arena on Monday
tvCan X Factor last in the face of plummeting numbers auditioning
News
Kirsty Bertarelli is launching a singing career with an album of songs detailing her observations of “real life”
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Content Assistant / Copywriter

    £15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

    Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

    £24000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Situated in the heart of Bradfo...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reception Manager

    £18750 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Hotel in Chadderton is a popular ch...

    Guru Careers: Marketing and Communications Manager

    £Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing and Co...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence