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An interview with Ian Hutcheson, Director of Security at BAA

Posted: 4 February 2008 | Ian Hutcheson, Director of Security at BAA | No comments yet

An interview with BAA’s Director of Security, Ian Hutcheson.

An interview with BAA’s Director of Security, Ian Hutcheson.

Q: What is BAA doing to ensure that its airports are as secure as possible?

In addition to the internal risk assessment process, every BAA airport participates in a Multi – Agency Threat and Risk Forum. The airport operator together with all the other security stakeholders assess the threat and the risks that flow from it on a monthly basis to identify any vulnerabilities. Their recommendations are then passed to the Airport Security Committee for consideration and implementation. The work of this Group is driven by experience gained from passed events and intelligence and information provided by the appropriate agencies.
Corporately BAA work with the UK Government and the European Commission to identify new technologies and processes that will improve security effectiveness. BAA also operate a vigorous performance management system for its security processes and staff.

Q: What new equipment and technology have you introduced?

Over the past six months BAA have refitted all its airports with the latest technology for screening people and baggage. New x-rays will facilitate to the security regime and bring benefits for security effectiveness and passenger convenience.

Q: How has your job changed over the past few years?

Aviation is a global industry and aviation security is therefore driven by world events. Since the start of the 21st century we have had several events that have impacted upon the aviation industry and this has presented many new challenges. However, basically the job is all about ensuring that BAA’s passengers and staff are kept safe and secure and in that respect it never changes.

Q: How have security restrictions affected passenger waiting times?

There is no doubt that the new regulations brought in post August 2006 presented challenges for operators and passengers alike. The new rules were complex and difficult to understand for screeners and passengers and the liquid ban brought a new dimension to aviation security. New technology and additional capacity were identified as the solutions required and BAA have been working throughout 2007 to put this in place.

Q: What have you changed in terms of staff training?

New threats result in new processes and new technologies and this does bring with it a need to undertake additional and new training. BAA have also explored less conventional training and have delivered Behavioural Pattern Recognition training to members of our staff in both our airport and railway businesses.

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