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Maritime, Air Show

by msecadm4921

As part of the APTS Conference and Exhibition, UK Trade and Investment are holding a seminar on business opportunities.

As part of the APTS Conference and Exhibition, UK Trade and Investment are holding a seminar on global opportunities in the maritime sector onboard HQS Wellington, the frigate permanently moored by Temple Stairs on the Embankment in London.

The programme will include presentations on: regional piracy and terrorism in the Far East; US homeland security; case studies from leading UK companies who have been successful in winning business overseas; regional updates; and building strategic alliances/partnerships with overseas corporations.

The seminar will be attended by port representatives from markets including the US, Singapore, Belgium, Norway and Portugal. UK Trade and Investment commercial officers will also be available to offer advice on trade development opportunities in the security sector. UK Trade and Investment will also be hosting an evening reception after the seminar and workshops to launch the new UK Trade & Investment maritime security handbook. The seminar is free to all APTS conference delegates.

For more details

For further information on the seminar please ring Kate Booth on 020 7215 4691, email [email protected]

Three years on from 9-11, the aviation industry is perhaps not seen as the most likely terrorist target. The massive increase in security measures has no doubt acted as a deterrent, and sadly as we have seen in Bali and, more recently Russia, those wishing to cause destruction have turned their sights to other areas. But the threat remains.

How closely are governments, airports and airlines working together to fight the possibility of aviation terrorism? David Wilson-Le-Moine from Thales Security Systems believes that within most Governments there’s not really a cohesive approach. “There’s a lot of support given to projects which gain a lot of public interest. Sometimes it’s felt that a little more joined up Government thinking between all the departments would certainly help. In this country there’s certainly various departments looking at security and whether they talk to each other is a matter of opinion and the opinion differs from person to person.”


Virgin Atlantic maintains that there is strong partnership between the Department for Transport and UK airlines. The company’s Head of Security, Andy Blackwell cites the UK’s Multi Agency Threat and Risk Assessment Scheme (MATRA) as an excellent example of joined up working. “It encourages law enforcement and airport/airline stakeholders to work together to identify security risks and agree upon effective countermeasures.” With a background in the police, customs and the National Criminal Intelligence Service it’s not surprising he favours the intelligence-led, risk-assessment route. It’s an approach he’d like to see adopted in other countries too. “The closer we can get to a global security programme the better. There is a tendency for some governments to take an absolutist approach, rather than one that seeks to manage risk. There is no such thing as 100pc security, but the closest we can get to it the better.”

Perhaps impossible?

John Trevett from the International Bureau of Aviation believes the drive for a perhaps impossible level of security is particularly apparent across the pond. “I think the US is still in the gut reaction stage and they still don’t know what to do. They’ve been particularly badly led from the top; an administration that doesn’t really know what it’s doing putting in measures that won’t necessarily improve their security but will inconvenience a lot of travellers.” It’s finding this balance that is the key. Customers want to feel that they are travelling safely but at the same time they don’t want the inconvenience of having to wait three hours to be security screened.

Dozens of tenants

Perhaps one of the biggest issues to overcome is the fragmentation of responsibility, both within airports themselves and in the wider aviation world. John Trevett points out that while an airport authority has overall responsibility for its site, it is dealing with dozens of tenants who all have an impact on security. “Heathrow has maybe 100 operating airlines – they all have a responsibility to their passengers. It’s very dispersed and when you actually get to the level of people on the airport who are directly responsible, the first line of defence if you like, they’re not necessarily that well trained or that well qualified and they’re probably undermanned.” If that seems complicated, it’s a microcosm of the disseminated structure higher up. At UN level there’s the intergovernmental International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Airlines Association which represents most of the big carriers and the Airports Council International whose membership covers around a quarter of the world’s airports. John Trevett doubts whether these bodies are necessarily talking to each other and adds that even these bodies have their own divisions. “There is an ICAO annexe now dealing with security and you’ll find that the same 10, 20 governments will implement measures and the other 160 won’t do anything about it, or will implement some of the measures but don’t have the money or the inclination to do all of it.” So the possibility of a globally holistic approach seems a long way off. Even within the industry itself some information isn’t shared as openly as it perhaps should be. In the current climate it is perhaps understandable that carriers are slightly reluctant to reveal anything that may frighten or alarm passengers. The fine line between what is considered an incident and an accident is only crossed when there are human casualties involved, rather than just damaged aircraft. John Trevett goes on to explain how this information is communicated to the wider public; “In Britain, Europe and North America incidents are put into the public domain so the information is there but no one does anything about it until there is an accident. Information tends to be circulated within the industry who look very closely at these incidents and try to isolate potential problems but I don’t think the information gets disseminated further than that.”

Shared intelligence

Tackling terrorism isn’t just about aviation bodies communicating with each other. Each nation also has its home office, foreign office, police, homeland security and transport departments who are an integral part of the process. It’s the sharing of intelligence gathered by these different agencies that will ultimately aid the industry. David Wilson-Le-Moine believes that in Britain we’re in a fortunate position. “We have one of the best intelligence gathering services in the world so one can only hope that they’re doing their job and I have no reason to suspect they’re not.”

Adaptable approach

All parties at all levels need to formulate an approach to security which is adaptable and under constant review. Andy Blackwell fears it’s dangerous to assume that one can simply throw money or resources at the problem. He also thinks a multi strata system is inevitable but one that can be both a strength and a weakness. “Layering of security measures is vital, but we need to be mindful of the fact that constant layering without reviewing effectiveness can give the impression that the overall security programme lacks robustness. The measures imposed need to be flexible.”

About the event

APTS exhibition and conference is a forum for the transport security industry and takes place from November 10 to 11, 2004 at Olympia 2, London. Call the ticket hotline on 020 8822 6919.

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