Aviation enthusiasts provide extra security at Stansted Airport

MORE than 150 aviation enthusiasts have joined forces with police to provide extra ‘eyes and ears’ for security around Stansted airport.

MORE than 150 aviation enthusiasts have joined forces with police to provide extra ‘eyes and ears’ for security around Stansted airport.

The enthusiasts who regularly visit the airport to watch and photograph passenger, private and cargo-carrying aircraft, have signed up to Essex Police’s PlaneWatch scheme.

Fifty members of the group attended the official launch of the scheme at the airport on Sunday.

The enthusiasts met police officers and police community support officers who are based at the airport and were given a briefing on airport security.


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All 150 members of the group have been vetted and issued with identity cards so that they can be recognised by officers who patrol the perimeters of the airport.

Insp Ian Coleman said: “The enthusiasts know all the best vantage points around the airport and they know each other. Some of them have been coming here for years. They also tend to keep in touch with other and know by various means when new or interesting aircraft are coming in.

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“They turn out in large numbers when celebrities or VIPs such as President Obama in his aircraft Air Force One, are flying into Stansted.

“The aviation enthusiasts will provide valuable assistance to Essex Police and British Airports Authority and they will provide another layer of security around the airfield.

“When they are in and around the airport they will be able to immediately recognise what is normal and would be able to quickly spot and report any suspicious activity.”

The PlaneWatch scheme was set up by Pc Richard McDade and PCSO Sophie Yeulett who visited Gatwick and Luton airports to see how similar groups were operating.

Anyone interested in finding out more information on the scheme or wishing to join should e-mail stanstedplanewatch@essex.pnn.police.uk for an application pack.

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