Daily operations at two of the largest U.S. air bases in the United Kingdom have not been affected by the recent terrorist incidents that forced the U.K. to go into its highest threat level, base officials said Monday.
But BAA, a company that owns and operates seven U.K. airports including Glasgow, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, advised passengers on its Web site not to drive to the airports as heightened security could cause major delays.
“BAA strongly recommends that passengers use public transport to get to the airport,” a warning message stated.
All BAA airports were operating normally with a full schedule of flights on Monday, though some flights at Glasgow were delayed because of the weekend’s disruption, its Web site said.
A British bus company that offers free shuttle services to U.K. airports for U.S. servicemembers and their families did not seem to be interrupted by the foreseen traffic congestion at Heathrow and Gatwick.
“As it stands today, I haven’t heard anything different from the drivers. Can’t be that much of a problem,” said Rick Martin, a transport manager for Coach Services.
Amber Vincent, a recreational aide at Lakenheath’s Information, Tickets and Travel office, said an upcoming trip to the Tower of London was still on schedule for this Saturday, and that no other trips have been canceled or altered as a result of the latest incidents.
A spokesman with the 501st Combat Support Wing, an umbrella organization with units located on smaller air bases, said that off-base services also would go forth as usual.
“We are conducting risk assessments on a case-by-case basis. Activities of this nature will continue unless the risk is deemed too great,” spokesman Tech. Sgt. Keith Houin said.
The U.K. government elevated its threat level from severe to critical after two Mercedes packed with explosives were spotted early Friday morning near London’s Piccadilly Circus, and then a blazing Jeep Cherokee rammed into the entrance of Glasgow International Airport on Saturday. At least seven people have been arrested in both incidents. No one was injured in the failed terrorist attacks, except for one terror suspect who received severe burns in the Glasgow incident, The Associated Press reported.
Citing Air Force policy, officials at RAFs Lakenheath and Mildenhall would not discuss any additional security put in place in response to the attacks. However, nothing out of the ordinary could be seen Monday.
The Metropolitan Police in London continued to enhance security measures to give a “highly visible reassurance” to people traveling within the city, said a security update on its Web site.
“I’d like to reassure the public that we’re doing everything possible to make them safe by putting out extra patrols and deploying other protective measures. Safety and security is our number one priority,” Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said in the update.