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Lives at risk over security flaw at Glasgow Airport

14.08.06

Lives are being put at risk by a security loophole at UK airports which allows unchecked bags into secure areas, workers have warned according to an article in the Scotsman newspaper. Baggage reclaim belts, which carry checked luggage from the aircraft loading and unloading area to passengers on a continuous loop, are located in the public area of the terminal at both Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.

A bag containing explosives placed on the belt would be carried into the secure area where it could detonate next to aircraft, passengers and ramp workers. The Scotsman reports that workers at Edinburgh Airport have informed managers of a potentially serious breach of security, but there are no current plans to change the terminal layout.

At larger airports such as Heathrow, the reclaim belts are located in an 'airside' part of the terminal, to which only screened passengers and staff have access. However, at Edinburgh and Glasgow the domestic reclaim belts are accessible to everyone, yards from the street entrance.
The area is patrolled by armed police but sniffer dogs are not normally used.

A spokesman for BAA told the newspaper: 'We are aware of the issue and staff have been asked to ensure uncollected bags are removed promptly. We have to balance the need for security with that of customer convenience. Screening everyone who entered the terminal is not really a proportionate measure.'

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