In reply to the question from Don Causey about firearms transiting London from one carrier to British Airways, the answer is yes we have procedures in place to handle that through Securicor Aviation, our security contractor at London Heathrow (LHR). We currently move anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 firearms a year, a vast amount of work which is carried out with very little disruption to our customers.
The essence of a trouble-free firearms transfer is the communication from the incoming airline to ourselves of the impending shipment. This necessitates the customer ensuring that entries are made into their initial bookings and check-in transactions at the time of flying and then the airline sending telexes to us with the customer's flight details. One of the problems we occasionally encounter is where customers do not declare them on their initial US domestic flights, information not being passed on to the airline carrying them across the Atlantic and then them ending up with us at LHR with no prior notification. An additional factor to this being that firearms from the US do not have firearms labels attached to them at check-in and thus may not be easily recognizable as such.
The LHR transfer may be handled in different ways, either by a single movement that may involve the incoming airline bringing the firearm to our storage facility or if a larger consignment, by our contractor meeting the incoming aircraft and transferring them from aircraft side to the vehicle, through our processes and onto our departing flight. We also have the facility of an approved secured armoury to hold consignments if they are on a longer layover between flights. It is very encouraging that Don........(continued)