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SECURITY


THE BALANCING ACT T


here is a real need for all air airports to improve the passenger experience in relation to security, Morgan told delegates. “Security is an absolute fundamental. We have to get that right but when you take it to the next level and look at the world that airports live in, it is a world of tough competition. “In London we have six competitor airports who


are vying with us for the point to point traffic. We have Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton but there are also smaller airports such as Southend which recently expanded its passenger profile. There is also City Airport which is trying to take our most successful and richest business passengers away from us. These are relatively small numbers of people but it is all competition for us. “Looking more broadly as a hub we are in


competition with Fraport, Copenhagen and Charles de Galle for European traffic and then there are the Gulf States. So while on one level we know that


32 / AF / January 2014


security at Heathrow cannot be compromised we also have to make sure we meet the expectations of passengers who travel widely. “Can we keep passengers safe and happy at the same time? And what is reasonable for a passenger to expect? We have all come across unreasonable passengers and at some time or other have probably been unreasonable passengers ourselves.” Morgan says he was recently taking an international delegation on a tour around terminal 5. The terminal is a beautiful new facility which has won many awards and while he was standing near the security concourse with 10 or so visitors from international governments he was approached by an angry passenger. “He told me that the airport was a national disgrace and that he had spent 40 minutes standing in line trying to get liquids through security,” says Morgan. “This just about sums it up. The man hadn’t understood the rules even though we have had a ban on liquids for years. We spend


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