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Will airport pass the Games security check?
12:53pm Friday 22nd October 2010 in Letters
Southend Airport’s Olympics role only exists in the fevered imagination of its management (Oct 13).
The main site of the Olympics lies beneath the East London and south Essex area for air traffic control. There are eight air routes passing through it, only two of which serve London City Airport.
Why would these alone be closed? To the north is the Clacton air control area, the busiest in Europe.
As far as airport security is concerned, in order to remain open for the duration of the Games, an airport must have a credible airport security plan.
London City Airport is located within the ring of steel security zone of the City with extensive CCTV surveillance. The runways are surrounded on three sides by water and it is probably the most secure airport in the country.
By comparison, Southend Airport is open house.
Southend is barely five minutes flying time from the Olympic site and security at the airport at the moment is minimal. An office with the word police on the door is manned intermittently by one officer.
The gardens of properties in Wells Avenue directly abut the airport’s perimeter fence, as does the Rochford Hundred golf course, St Laurence’s churchyard and the railway line.
Southend Airport has barely 18 months to draw up and enact an airport security plan that will pass a thorough inspection.
Which of the two airports is more likely to be closed for the duration of the games, Southend or London City?
B J Free