HL Deb 27 March 2002 vol 633 cc66-7WA
Lord Fearn

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps are being taken to improve security at Heathrow airport for passengers travelling on international flights to and from the airport; and [HL3526]

What additional security measures (including reinforced cockpit doors) have been introduced to aircraft using Heathrow and Manchester airports since 11th September 2001. [HL3527]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton

Following the attacks on 11 September, heightened aviation security measures were introduced at all UK airports, including Heathrow and Manchester, and for all airlines operating from the UK. Security remains at an enhanced level, with requirements including additional passenger searches as well as those relating to cockpit security. Since 18 September 2001, all UK registered airlines have been required to keep cockpit doors locked and the CAA has also introduced a fast-track procedure to allow UK airlines to make modifications to doors to protect the cockpit still further.

In addition, the Cabinet Office commissioned, through the Committee on Domestic and International Terrorism, a wide-ranging review of aviation security following the 11 September attacks. As a result a number of potential measures have been identified for both pre-flight and in-flight security on which work is currently being taken forward.

Following the robbery at Heathrow on 11 February, the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions and the Secretary of State for the Home Department ordered an immediate review of airside security. This review has also been considering the implications of the second robbery at Heathrow on 19 March. The review will report this week and the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions will make an announcement shortly about action to be taken to tighten security still further.