A relaxation of strict security measures at UK airports could be on the cards under plans put forward by the government.
Transport secretary Philip Hammond launched a consultation on airport security yesterday, saying he wanted to “move away from the current highly-prescriptive, one-size-fits-all approach”.
“Our current system can place significant financial burdens on the aviation industry along with inconvenience to passengers,” said Hammond.
“We can do better – with a new regime which maintains and improves security standards but in a more efficient and passenger-friendly way.”
He proposed the government “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.”
One outcome of the new regime could be that measures such as requiring passengers to remove their shoes will be used far more selectively.
Hammond said the safety and security of passengers remained “of paramount importance to the government” and he proposed requiring all airport operators to develop security management systems.
He is also proposing new arrangements requiring airports to report regularly to the Civil Aviation Authority on their performance.
“This approach . . . is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards in aviation security whilst also improving the passenger experience,” said Hammond.
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