The security chief position has been axed at Edinburgh Airport, with the terminal manager set to take over all security operations from now on. This has led security experts to criticise the move, and even the Prime Minister has become involved by saying that he will look into the decision.
Over 9 million passengers use Edinburgh Airport every year, and with the threat of international terrorism increasing across the world, demonstrated by the recent Christmas Day bomb alert in Detroit, it seems sensible that the major airports have dedicated security personnel in charge. However, when Alistair Bonthron leaves the post the security team is to merge with the terminal team.
Gordon Brown said that BAA had to take its responsibilities seriously when it came to security. He was responding to the Liberal Democrat MP, John Barrett, who brought up his concerns with the Prime Minister. Brown said that it is “a matter to be worked out but I shall obviously look into the case.”
A spokeswoman for BAA said that the same arrangement was in place at Glasgow Airport and reiterated that safety and security were a priority at all BAA Airports. The managing director of the airport, Gordon Dewar, also confirmed that security is a “foremost priority” and highlighted the tens of millions of pounds spent on new security facilities and staff training at Edinburgh Airport over recent years.
However, the former head of security for BAA, Norman Shanks, said that the decision seemed “odd”, adding that safeguards would need to be put in place to prevent the decision leading to any lack of security.