In 2007, Ferrovial responded to new security demands in European airports with major investments of over 20 million euros (40 million since August 2006) in recruiting security personnel and purchasing security equipment. Security spending accounted for 35% of all of BAA's operating costs in 2007.

BAA has achieved the following progress since August 2006:

  • More than 2,300 new security officers incorporated into the seven British airports.

  • 35% more screening devices.

  • Investments in new metal detectors and X-ray scanners, which has led to substantial improvements in airport security processes. This new technology allows passengers going through security checks to carry liquids and laptop computers without taking them out of their handbags. This reduces time spending and queues.

  • Pilot trials for new technologies, such as digital fingerprint or retinal recognition, to expedite queues at security checkpoints. Several English airports, Gatwick among them, have introduced fingerprint scanning for domestic passengers (British) to improve security and manage border checkpoints. This technology was launched at Heathrow's Terminal 1 in February 2008 and incorporated into the newly inaugurated Terminal 5 in March. All information is encrypted and destroyed after 24 hours, in accordance with the British Data Protection Act.

Altogether, these measures achieved an approximately 25% increase in overall airport security capacity, which was reflected in improved security checkpoint wait times. Complete information on queue management can be found in detail in the section on Quality.

Another key aspect of airport security is fire response capacity. In 2007, BAA achieved a response time of two minutes and twenty seconds, 20% faster than the legally required limit. This response capacity is the result not improvised. BAA invests 2 million pounds each year in training and in acquiring and maintaining a fleet of more than 50 fire fighting units, including trucks, hoses, surveillance vehicles and other equipment, all of which is equipped with the latest infrared technology or GPS systems to reach fire sites quickly, no matter where they may be.

All health and safety incidents are investigated, security campaigns are launched and directives circulated to all employees to prevent new incidents. In 2007, 3 incidents were detected and solved.

Airports have health and safety departments that work with line managers to assure the safe execution of all their activities. BAA's Health and Safety Committee and Executive Committee are responsible in the final analysis for ensuring health and safety, evaluating security systems and setting objectives.

In 2006, the Company conducted an independent review of health and safety standards and improved them by changing the way incidents are reported. In March 2006, BAA revised the way it reports passenger incidents, which are now classified according to passenger injury level. 239 passenger accidents took place in BAA airports in 2007, a reduction of 10% and 35% over the past two years, however the objective of 2.2 accidents per million passengers was not reached last year.

In 2006, work began on integrating health, safety and environmental management systems into a platform called Managing Responsibly, a new system aligned with international ISO 14001 and 18001 standards. This transition was completed in 2007.