UK airports, particularly London's Heathrow, were last week monitored by a substantial police and military presence inside the airport and in the surrounding area. The government says intelligence indicated that terrorists may attempt to shoot an aircraft down. Police arrested six people in two incidents around Heathrow on 13 and 14 February. Meanwhile, a British Airways Aerospatiale/BAe Concorde flight on 13 February from Heathrow apparently made a last-minute runway change to the northern 09L instead of the usual 09R.A pilot in the take-off queue says that take-offs were held for 10min while a police helicopter hovered over the area under the take-off path. According to BA, the runway swap was made because of recent resurfacing work on 09R. At London Gatwick Airport, customs officials in the North Terminal found a hand grenade in the hold baggage of a man on a BA flight from Caracas, Venezuela. The terminal was closed for 4h, disrupting flights. Police sources say this is not believed to be a terrorist issue, but the man has been arrested.
Source: Flight International