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Airport Security

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

In her statement of 16 July 2008, my predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, West (Ruth Kelly), in conjunction with the Home Office, announced the launch of a consultation on aspects of proposed legislation designed to deliver more effective policing and security planning arrangements at airports.

The consultation sought views on the proposed new security planning process which requires the majority of airports in the UK to agree a local airport security plan with their key stakeholders based upon threat and risk analysis. The process also allows any agreed dedicated policing element of this plan to be charged to the airport operator.

I am grateful to our stakeholders from the aviation sector and police for their considered responses to the consultation. I have carefully considered the views that were expressed and have consequently asked that legislative proposals be enhanced to provide for ministerial determination of disputes. The draft legislation has also been enhanced to ensure that it is sufficiently flexible and scalable to apply to airports whatever their size.

The new security planning process was also shaped by stakeholder views in other ways, in particular, through a programme board which included senior representatives from our key stakeholder groups. Feedback provided at various local stakeholder events and the views aired at our national stakeholder event in November have also been important considerations.

These proposals will now be taken forward in the Policing and Crime Bill which will be introduced in the House today.

The response to the consultation will be published on the Department for Transport’s website shortly and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.