Forget the snow – new threat to London transit hubs

Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by Hugh McManners, Jan 7, 2011.

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  1. With today's raising of the threat level to London's transport hubs, it seems to me after the Christmas hiatus that our airport authorities are more concerned with safeguarding their industry from the loss of public confidence threatened by terrorists, than with the comfort and satisfaction of their passengers. It seems justifiable to mess people around in the hallowed name of Security - but as we saw in the snow, that's what the airport authorities do whenever something happens out of the ordinary. This lessens actual security, as it makes the jobs of police and security officers far more difficult, plus exposes them to public frustrations - which should be visited upon airport administrators. The airports get away with it because there are no alternatives to flying - so I'm New Year wishing for a low-carbon sea alternative to some air routes, if only to provide competition.

    More...
     
  2. According to your post you think the Airports not the security services/police/home office decide the threat level?
     
  3. Please don't turn out to be a blogger.
     
  4. You couldn't be more wrong on this.

    1) Airports and security. The Government sets the rules for aviation security (actually, the European Commission is increasingly in the driving seat). Airports have to comply, because it is the law.

    2) Airport security 'messing people around'. Airports do not make the rules. They enforce them to the best of their (at times limited) ability. New rules are very often put in place by the Government with little or no warning, consultation or consideration of the impact they would have on the operation of an airport, let alone the impact on individual travellers.

    For example, after the pants bomber debacle of Xmas 09, Gordon Brown announced that every UK airport would be getting body scanners. Utterly unfeasible. Civil servants ran around looking for a face saving set of alternatives. They decided that increased hand search was the way forward. This would have placed a massive extra burden on airport security staff, which they would not have been able to cope with. It would also have meant queues out of the doors at most airport terminals. There was a 'frank' exchange of views and civil servants dropped the proposal. So airport operators actually did you a favour there.

    3) Airports, passengers and snow: It's the job of airlines to look after stranded passengers (EU and UK legislation). They didn't do it. Airports got the blame.

    Please do think before you type. And why is this in Staff Officers, anyway?
     
  5. He's an ex woooopert and writes for the Independent amongst other various scribbles - Posting in any other forum is probably considered beneath him. ;-)
     
  6. Ah. Have to say that I enjoyed Forgotten Voices of the Falklands (purchased in an airport departure lounge).
     
  7. That explains the writing style; written at you, not to you.
     
  8. Can't see how you read that into it... no actually maybe you possibly could, perhaps because this is a Summary (see below).

    The problem is that (it seems) the airport authorities can't afford, or won't pay, to look after passengers as they should - as seen when there's snow, a 'threat' we can expect to have here in UK.

    And as there's no alternative to flying, there's not much hope of this changing - unless you live in Kent and can afford to travel across to Charles de Gaulle.

    But I'm talking about how this affects security - there's nothing better than a whole lot of pissed-off travelers being messed around to create a terrorist opportunity. Badly-run facilities with confusion and lots of harassed people are ideal. No amount of scanners, police and other measures can help if everyone's so fed up they stop cooperating - which is how things were before Christmas.

    @Victorian Major - your fear is justified. It is indeed a blog.
    If you and P2000 object to this, please take it up with the Administrators. I don't post into here, ARRSe takes the Summary as an RSS feed, I suppose on the assumption that people might read what the actual blog says before commenting.

    PS - many thanks to P2000 for buying one of my books. Most people I know borrow them from the Library then give me a hard time about them - so you're a gent.

    There's a row going on about selling all the airport bookshop permissions to the one book chain, restricting the choice of books to passengers and of course making a shed-load more money for the airport. Heathrow at least is under serious pressure to make more profit, its owners having borrowed heavily to buy it, and so I suppose having no money to make improvements.
     
  9. I apologise. The rhetorical style is appropriate for a blog but the thread masquerades as a conventional thread - with no indication of the provenance of the original writing (unless I have missed something).

    I wish arrse didn't do that - it seems like 'thread boosting' to me.
     
  10. Forgotten Voices of the Falklands should be compulsory reading for anyone studying the Falklands' conflict.
    I too bought it actually - Top notch read.

    I've shot a 'pundit piece' with HM: at least he knows his stuff unlike that bloody RAF map reader bloke who got shot down during GW1.
     
  11. Thanks V_M.

    I've been able to insert a sentence at the end of the blog Summaries to the effect that it is a blog - and the number of words (the extent of your commitment should you click on to it).

    But as a member of ARRSe, I'm very happy to take part in discussions - using ARRSe-appropriate language of course. If you think about this from the other end of the telescope - imagine the effect in the other places that take my stuff by RSS (I have not a clue who they might be..) if I wrote all my blogs as if for ARRSe consumption? (Actually I might just try it.)
     
  12. Thought I recognised the screen name.... Have 'Scars of War' in the military/history section of my bookshelves. Thought it was a damned good read.

    Apologies for taking taking things on that tangent and not addressing the actual topic...
     
  13. Thanks Bigeye - you slipped in while I was chiselling my last to V_M. Trying to talk sense isn't always easy. And thanks for the book plug. It's wonderful to have readers, but purchasers are even better!
     
  14. Likewise,an excellent book
     
  15. Thanks Galgenberg and PJ too - I suppose as the proxy originator of this thread I can authorise such off-topic digressions! But I can also see some outraged grown-up leaping in here and curtailing all these pleasantries. Thanks all.