Skip to main content

Airport Security

Volume 406: debated on Friday 23 May 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what monitoring of security at airports abroad is undertaken by UK embassies and consulates. [114614]

The monitoring of airport security abroad is a key task for Post Aviation Security Officers (PASOs) in the majority of our network of embassies, High Commissions and Consulate-Generals. PASOs assess security afforded to UK airlines and, where there are no UK carriers, report on the airport security regime generally.Since 11 September 2001, the PASOs work has intensified and been supplemented by ad hoc visits and assessments by experts from Transport Security Directorate at the Department for Transport (DfT). PASOs are not aviation security experts and they all have other duties to undertake outside the aviation security field. Where a PASO identifies shortcomings in security he/she will be given guidance from DfT on how the issue should be addressed, with further support from the centre as necessary.Regional Aviation Security Liaison Officers (RASLOs) have recently been appointed to Nairobi (to cover East Africa) and Dubai (to cover the Gulf) to provide host states with practical aviation security advice and expertise. Further deployments to other regions are likely. The RASLOs are aviation security experts and will, to a large extent, assume many of the duties currently performed by the PASOs in those regions. Monitoring security standards and liaising with the appropriate authorities are core tasks.In addition to our RASLOs and PASOs, we continue to highlight the importance of international aviation security standards in multilateral fora—G8, EU, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC)—and with partners on a bilateral basis. We are intensifying our programme of DfT inspections, increasing the number of regional aviation security courses we deliver overseas and inviting more delegations of experts and practitioners to the UK for consultations and security visits to our airports.