Examination of Witnesses

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:28 pm on 23rd February 2012.

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John Moloney: I think we should step back slightly. The security arrangements in the Department for Transport are partly based on the experience of the Lockerbie atrocity. After Lockerbie, a dedicated security organisation called TRANSEC was set up inside the Department for Transport. Unfortunately, TRANSEC has now been abolished, but the key point was that it recognised the potential tension between security and commercial interests in that, clearly, a security consideration might be to stop an airport or to restrict movement, whereas there is a commercial imperative to keep passengers and flights going, et cetera.

That slight tension exists now in the Department for Transport, because security is housed in the same division or directorate that is responsible for facilitating transport, and we think that will be exacerbated if it is put in with the CAA. It will just be a tiny strand in a huge organisation. We are talking about 90 people transferring, who have responsibility for security inspections around the country, to an organisation of several thousand. I think the fears that BALPA has about it being swamped or being a very small subdivision of a subdivision are correct, and will actually happen.