Virgin Announces New Security Chief

4th Nov 2002

Virgin Atlantic Airways today announced the appointment of Andy Blackwell as Head of Aviation Security. Reporting to Matthew Lee, Director Flight Operations, Andy will be responsible for all security related initiatives for the airline including the passenger verification programme, aircraft security and searches, liaison with various security and industry organisations and his remit will include each of the airline’s nineteen airports worldwide. Andy will start with the airline on 16 December 2002.
On his new position Andy Blackwell commented;
“I am delighted to be appointed as Head of Aviation Security at Virgin Atlantic. Virgin and I share the belief that security is an integral part of normal business practices. Virgin Atlantic has been at the forefront of new security practices since the attacks of September 2001 and I look forward to making a significant contribution in setting ‘best in class’ security standards.”
Matthew Lee, Director Flight Operations, commented on Andy’s appointment;
“We are extremely fortunate to have been able to recruit someone with the right balance of professional security and airline/air freight expertise. The depth of knowledge and skills Andy can offer are first class and we look forward to welcoming him onboard in December. 
“The safety and security of our passengers and crew is Virgin Atlantic’s top priority. The airline has lead the way in introducing a whole host of security measures including improved flight deck security and increased screening of baggage and profiling of passengers.”
Andy has enjoyed a long and varied career and has regularly spoken at international conferences and training courses on security issues. Andy joins Virgin from DHL International where he held the post of UK Security Manager and Lead Threat Assessor, responsible for dealing with criminal and terrorist threats affecting the company. Andy’s duties with DHL included the development and review of security policies and procedures, improvement of security on potential targets, liaising with the Department for Transport and conducting security tests to ensure compliance with aviation regulations.
Prior to joining DHL in 1995, Andy had seventeen years external law enforcement experience with HM Customs and Excise, British Transport Police, the National Drugs Intelligence Unit, National Criminal Intelligence Service and the National Drugs Intelligence Service of the Czech Republic.
Andy is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Investigators and holds membership of the Emergency Planning Society, and World EOD Foundation.
Andy is 41 years old and married with three children - twins Jenna and Craig aged seventeen and Jade aged eight. Andy will replace Roy Bouttell who left the company in the summer.
For further information please contact the Virgin Atlantic Press Office on 01293 747373 or visit the Virgin Atlantic website


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