London’s Police Authority and the Metropolitan Police have organised a meeting of all police authorities and forces responsible for providing security to the UK’s nine major airports to discuss how best to recover the costs of policing them.
Len Duvall, Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said it was “unfair to expect taxpayers to have to bear the costs for policing what are commercial enterprises, often earning huge profits.”
Under the Civil Aviation Act 1982 the nine designated airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham, Manchester, Prestwick, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen – are required to contribute to policing costs.
However with costs increasing due to the threat of terrorism authorities and forces say they have found it increasingly difficult to recover what they consider to be a fair proportion of the costs from airport operators.
According to Mr Duvall “under current legislation, the amount the operators pay is open to local interpretation and confusion, and leads to disputes.”
The meeting arranged by MPA and the Metropolitan Police Service is to take place on 16 January and will discuss possible solutions.