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UK transport secretary outlines plans for ‘passenger friendly’ aviation security

UK transport secretary outlines plans for ‘passenger friendly’ aviation security

Transport secretary Philip Hammond has launched a review of aviation safety in the UK, acknowledging the present regime places “significant financial burdens” on the aviation industry as well as causing “inconvenience to passengers”.

The review will seek to outline how the government can improve security standards in a “passenger-friendly” way.

“I propose the government should move from prescribing security processes to setting security outcomes,” explained Hammond.

“This will give airports and airlines greater flexibility to deliver high standards of security in ways that that are better integrated with their day-to-day business and designed around the needs of the passenger.”

He went on to add the government was looking to move away from the “one-size-fits-all” approach to airport security, suggesting the industry could take a more proactive and more innovative and tailored approach to security.

One such example of what security might look like in the future was recently presented by the International Air Transport Association at its conference in Singapore.

“The safety and security of passengers will remain of paramount importance to the government, and so the new arrangements will have robust oversight procedures in place to ensure security standards are not compromised,” added Hammond.

Under the proposals – which can be seen here - all industry operators will be required to develop a Security Management System.

This would demonstrate a clear commitment to providing an overall high level of security and set out how security outcomes specified by the UK Regulator and EU requirements will be delivered.

Integral to this will be robust internal quality assurance and auditing arrangements which will complement the Regulator’s own assurance and compliance processes.

The consultation also proposes new reporting arrangements whereby industry will regularly report to the Regulator on performance and occurrences (including the rectification measures to be taken).

This gives the Regulator a fuller picture on which to base decisions and direct regulatory effort.

Findings from the consultation are expected in November.