A meeting of police authorities and police forces responsible for providing police services at nine designated airports in England and Scotland has expressed the “unanimous view” that airport operators “should pay the full cost of policing the UK’s major airports, whether or not they are required to do so under current legislation.”
Under the Civil Aviation Act 1982, nine designated airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow, are required to contribute to policing costs however there is no national agreement regulating what constitutes a fair proportion of the costs.
The meeting was chaired by London Assembly and Metropolitan Police Authority Member Richard Barnes who said forces were “still operating under a funding arrangement worked out back in the early 1970s.”
Mr Barnes said increased policing costs in light of greater threat levels meant there was a “need to come up with a national strategy for policing our airports and recovering in full the costs involved” adding that “Shareholders and operators should pay the costs, not tax payers.”
There will be a further meeting this year to devise a common approach to formulate local police/airport operating agreements.