Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson visited Glasgow Airport to help launch this year’s Campus Watch ahead of the busy summer season.
Campus Watch was introduced in 2013 in partnership with Police Scotland to tackle disruptive behavior at the airport by providing training, advice and support to staff on the frontline. This includes check-in staff, security teams, bar and restaurant employees, retailers and airline crews.
Early intervention is a key aim of the initiative, with staff across the campus being encouraged to report the details of any potential incident of disruptive behavior to the airport’s central control room. This can be done through a dedicated phone number printed on each employee’s ID badge.
This information, such as a description of the passenger and their travel details, are then shared with staff across the airport via a rapid text alert system.
Amanda McMillan, Glasgow Airport’s managing director, said, “For many of our passengers, their holiday begins the moment they arrive at the airport and we want them to continue to enjoy a memorable, but ultimately safe, disruption-free experience.
“Our Campus Watch initiative ensures we work closely with our airline partners, retailers, caterers and Police Scotland representatives on a daily basis, by taking a rigorous and proactive approach to address and often pre-empt incidents of disruptive behavior at the airport.”
Incidents of this nature are rare at Glasgow, with the airport carrying 9.4 million passengers in 2016 and only 125 incidents of disruptive behavior involving alcohol.
“One incident is one too many,” added McMillan. “That is why we want to use Campus Watch to send a clear message to the small minority of people acting in a disruptive manger that Glasgow Airport takes a zero-tolerance approach to their unacceptable behavior.”
Other steps taken as part of the Campus Watch initiative include Police Scotland patrols at the drop-off area ahead of potentially problematic flights; airlines make airport-based Police Scotland aware of group bookings; Police Scotland make themselves known to large groups arriving at the airport; and duty-free staff will also remind passengers the alcohol they purchase is for export only and cannot be consumed in the airport or on board their flight.
The airport, its airline partners, caterers and retailers are also signatories of the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers, which launched last year. Similar to Campus Watch, the code has been designed to create a common, consistent approach to preventing and minimizing disruptive behavior.
Inspector Bob Smith, the airport’s police commander, said, “As we approach this very busy period, I would ask passengers to be mindful of the amount of alcohol they consume before coming to the airport and when they are at the airport.
“It’s completely understandable that people want to start their holiday with a bit of fun, but passengers should drink responsibly and be fit to fly. Being drunk or disruptive in the airport or on board an aircraft could cost them more than just their flight.”
Michael Matheson attended the launch day and was briefed on Glasgow’s successful Campus Watch program by members of the senior management team and representatives from Police Scotland, who are based at the airport.
He commented, “All travelers should be able to enjoy their time in an airport, whether it’s enjoying a bite to eat, perusing the shops, or having a bit of quiet time.
“There is no excuse for passengers being disruptive, and while the vast majority are well behaved, a small minority can cause problems and I am very pleased to see such initiative being shown at Glasgow Airport.
“Passengers can be assured that issues will be dealt with quickly and I’d like to see other airports considering how this approach might work in their own premises.”