Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson visited Glasgow Airport to help launch this year’s Campus Watch drive ahead of the 2017 summer season.
The Justice Secretary was briefed on Glasgow’s successful Campus Watch programme by members of the senior management team and representatives from Police Scotland who are based at the airport.
Campus Watch was introduced in 2013 in partnership with Police Scotland to tackle disruptive behaviour at Glasgow Airport and provides training, advice and support to staff who interact with passengers on a daily basis. This includes check-in staff, security teams, bar and restaurant employees, retailers and airline crews.
One of the key aims of the initiative is early intervention. Staff across the campus are encouraged to report the details of any potential incident of disruptive behaviour to the airport’s central control room through a dedicated phone number printed on each employee’s ID badge.
This information, including passenger description and travel details, is shared with staff across the airport campus via a rapid text alert system.
Disruptive behaviour covers a broad range of offences, but if the incident is alcohol related the passenger involved will be refused service across all retail outlets and gate staff will be notified in advance.
Glasgow Airport managing director Amanda McMillan 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 and disruption-free experience.
“Our Campus Watch initiative ensures we work closely on a daily basis with our airline partners, retailers, caterers and Police Scotland representatives by taking a rigorous and proactive approach to address and often pre-empt incidents of disruptive behaviour at the airport.
“It’s important to stress that the vast majority of people travelling through the airport do so responsibly, and that instances of disruptive behaviour are extremely rare. In 2016 we carried a record 9.4 million passengers and during this time our staff and partners dealt with 125 incidents of disruptive behaviour involving alcohol.
“While it’s correct to show the numbers in context, it’s also important to understand that disruptive behaviour can often disproportionately affect a large number of passengers, particularly if an incident occurs on board an aircraft.
“One incident is one too many. That’s why we want to use Campus Watch to send a clear message to the small minority of people acting in a disruptive manner that Glasgow Airport takes a zero-tolerance approach to their unacceptable behaviour.”
Other steps taken at Glasgow Airport 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 officers aware of group bookings
Police Scotland officers make themselves known to large groups arriving at the airport
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 an aircraft
Inspector Bob Smith, Glasgow Airport Police Commander, said: "We work on a daily basis with our airline and airport partners to reduce the impact of potentially disruptive passengers.
“Glasgow Airport has a zero-tolerance approach to unacceptable or disruptive behaviour. Thankfully incidents of this type are rare but the when they do occur, they can delay flights, affect local businesses in the airport and ultimately cause misery to other passengers.
"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."
Glasgow Airport, its airline partners, caterers and retailers are also signatories of the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers launched last year. Like Campus Watch, the code has been designed to create a common, consistent approach to preventing and minimising disruptive behaviour.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “All travellers 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.”