UK Airport Terror Threat Now Severe: Airport Int. News

International Aviation and Terrorism: Evolving Threats, Evolving Security

Security has been tightened across Britain’s transport network – airports included – in a move described by officials as “precautionary”, but which represents an up-shift in terror concern.

While the overall terrorism threat to the UK is presently labelled ‘Severe’, beneath this general rating, individual UK infrastructure elements have their own labelling system in place.
These ratings are usually kept away from the public domain but, courtesy of a number of news sources – who have reported on the situation this morning – it is understood that the transport sector is now considered under ‘Severe’ threat from terrorist action. This represents an increase over an earlier security rating – ‘Substantial’.
Reportedly, London’s airports – which include Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted – could be especially at risk.

New Airport Terror Threat

Commenting on the new airport terror threat level, officials have cautioned that the revision does not mean a terrorist attack is automatically on the way. If a threat was judged imminent – or intelligence was received that pointed to an inbound attack – the security threat level would be ramped up to ‘Critical’ – the highest point it can reach.
Even so, as a result of Britain’s airports now being described as severely at threat from terrorism, passengers are likely to notice increased numbers of police forces patrolling these areas, and the same goes for railway stations, too. Unsubstantiated reports suggest that police officers who would have been off work today – 7th January – have been ordered to surrender their holiday time.
“Security at our airports remains at a high level and we remain vigilant at all times”, a representative for airport operating group BAA commented.

UK Terror Threat Levels

There are five UK terror threat levels. The most minimal is ‘Low’, in which state a terror attack is considered unlikely. ‘Moderate’ raises the bar a little – here an attack is not out of the question, but still unlikely – while if there’s a strong chance of terrorist action, the threat’s ‘Substantial’.
A Scotland Yard spokesperson outlined the ‘Severe’ rating further.
“The threat level to the UK is at severe, which means that an attack is highly likely, and has been since January 2010”, he/she said.
“We will police accordingly and use a range of covert and overt tactics which remain under constant review.”