Select Committee on Transport Written Evidence


Memorandum from industry members of the National Aviation Security Committee (NASC) (TS 17)

INTRODUCTION

  This response to the Select Committee's enquiry is prepared by industry members of the UK's National Aviation Security Committee (NASC), as named and undersigned below. We represent onto that committee the interest of the UK airline and airport operators as well as those of foreign based airlines operating into and out of the UK—and on all of whose joint behalf this submission is presented.

SUBSTANTIVE SUBMISSION

  NASC is a joint government/industry committee established to inform the development of the National Aviation Security Programme and the strategic development of the appropriate security measures, to promote the proper implementation of such measures, and to ensure thereby that the threat to aviation, both in the UK and overseas, is properly understood and effectively managed. In addition to senior members of the Department's Transport Security Directorate (TRANSEC) and other Department officials, the government is represented by senior officials of the Home Office including representatives of the Police, Border Agencies and Special Branch. NASC provides a vital senior stakeholder forum for addressing the full range of aviation security issues, both domestic and international, and takes a holistic and forward looking approach.

  Industry members of NASC (the undersigned) are firmly committed to the principles, motivating purpose and strategic objectives of NASC, and are strongly supportive to the principles of effective collaboration and mutual consultation which underpin and direct its working. For the purpose of this response and submission, the industry members of NASC would particularly highlight and commend the following detail principles which guide the work and enhance the value of this joint government and industry initiative:

    —  promoting the principle that measures should be based on a proper assessment of risk and proportionate to the threat;

    —  recognising the need to pursue effective security facilitate air travel through the development of measures that are as simple as possible and sustainable, being both practicable and capable of cost-effective implementation;

    —  recognising the importance of a consistent approach linked to international baseline standards set by the EU and ICAG; and

    —  anticipating, where possible, major future developments likely to affect the aviation industry and the delivery of security, including commercial trends and technological advances.

  NASC, and the detailed work taken in sub-committee, coordinates national level input into the local development of individually focussed and cohesive airport security plans. Each airport has established a multi-agency threat and risk assessment (MATRA) committee involving all security stakeholders to develop a risk register, identify the main threats, assess the likelihood of those threats materialising, consider how they might be mitigated, and identify who should take the necessary action. The resultant joint security plan ensures that security controls take due account of individual airport characteristics, and promotes the efficient and effective use of government and industry resources in the mitigation of risk. Each airport also has established an Airport Security Committee to oversee security arrangements. Agencies represented on Airport Security Committees are responsible for implementing security plans and keeping them under review under strategic direction from NASC. Industry endorses this approach as it promotes and sustains sharing of information and intelligence, joint working, and trust between all participating agencies.

  Industry believes NASC, MATRA and Airport Security Committees to be key elements in protecting the travelling public and others from terrorist violence directed at aviation, and considers it vitally important to their work and success that the above principles and related processes should continue to be promoted and firmly maintained. It is particularly essential that these principles should be upheld and retained effective in the face of future possible threats and contingencies, and, most essentially, should in no case be compromised through external pressures be they public, media or extra-UK (eg EU) driven. Industry commend the above for consideration by the Select Committee.

SIGNED:

For and on behalf of all industry members of NASC:

Peter Brown

Managing Director, Monarch Airlines

Mike Carrivick

Chief Executive, Board of Airline Representatives-UK

Alex Grant

Chief Operating Officer, bmi

Richard Heard

Managing Director, Birmingham International Airport

Keith Jowett

Chief Executive, Airport Operators Association

Geoff Muirhead

Group Chief Executive, Manchester Airports Group plc

Neil Pakey

Chief Executive, Peel Airports Limited

Cohn Sharples

Director Industry Affairs & Environment, Thomsonfly

Lyell Strambi

Chief Operating Officer, Virgin Atlantic

Mike Szucs

Chief Operating Officer, easyjet

Tony Ward

Group Services Director, BAA plc

Robert Webb QC

General Counsel, British Airways

Roger Wiltshire

Secretary General, British Air Transport Association

December 2005





 
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