MET Police and Heathrow team up for joint exercise in Terminal 1

By Chris Loy

Published 14th May 2018

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The Metropolitan Police, emergency services and Heathrow Airport have teamed up for a major live-play exercise withing the now closed Heathrow Terminal 1 to test their joint response to a terrorist incident.

The multi-agency exercise – codenamed ‘Raptor’ – was carried out over two days and involved more than 1200 people including responders from blue-light services, military, counter-terrorism investigation teams and Heathrow staff, as well as numerous volunteers playing the role of casualties. It is not being carried out in response to any specific threat or intelligence.

The exercise was played out in the decommissioned Terminal 1 building at Heathrow, which was specially reopened by Heathrow to allow emergency services to run the exercise. Decommisioned terminals like Terminal 1 are extremely rare, and provide a unique environment to test out responses to incidents in a real setting, whilst allowing for an extreme amount of control.

This follows four similar, but smaller-scale exercises, which took place at Terminal 1 during June and July last year. Details have not been released until now in order to preserve the integrity of the exercises for those participating.

The two-day scenario began on Saturday 12 May and involved an armed terrorist attack scenario taking place in the terminal building. It tested the initial armed police response to deal with and neutralise the immediate threat to the public. The scenario also tested the police response to hostage and siege situations. This was then followed by the respective search, rescue, casualty management and recovery responses from the London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade

Heathrow staff also tested their own processes and procedures in partnership with the emergency services response.

IMAGE: Operation Raptor at Heathrow Airport.

Day 2 of the exercise…

Day two of the exercise focused on victim and casualty identification and recovery and also tested investigative and forensic recovery processes. This was carried out within the context of a major international airport and the additional complexities that brings.

Superintendent Dawn Morris, the exercise lead for the Metropolitan Policesaid, “The challenges of dealing with any major incident at an airport the size of Heathrow are, quite simply, exceptional and the learning that we and our emergency services colleagues have gained through this series of exercises has been invaluable.

“This will not only benefit us in London, but we will share any learning we can with other forces and airports across the country.

“I would like to thank Heathrow, who have given us this fantastic opportunity to really test our officers and staff in a genuine airport environment. It’s been a great learning experience for all of us; right from planning the exercises, through to their delivery and seeing and understanding how each agency operates so we can improve working relationships on all levels.

“I must also stress that this exercise was not carried out in response to any specific threat or intelligence and it forms part of our ongoing programme of exercising for various types of major incidents.

“Given that the threat level remains at ‘severe’, I hope that this kind of joint exercise reassures the public that if the worst were to happen, then we are ready and fully prepared to respond and keep people safe.”

Chris Garton, Chief Operating Officer at Heathrow said, “The safety and security of our passengers and airport colleagues is our utmost priority and this exercise is a key part of preparing an effective response, if the worst should happen at Heathrow or any other UK airport.”

…exercises like Raptor allow us to identify areas to strengthen and collaborate on in our partnership with the emergency services and police so the likelihood of an incident like this taking place can be even further reduced.

Chris Garton, Heathrow Chief Operating Officer 

“What’s more, exercises like Raptor allow us to identify areas to strengthen and collaborate on in our partnership with the emergency services and police so the likelihood of an incident like this taking place can be even further reduced.

We are proud to have taken part in such a complex and important exercise, and we will work with our partners to share the lessons we have learnt.”

Raptor V follows series of exercises…

This exercise is testing a number of different functions within the Met including command and control, intelligence, firearms response, communications, and counter-terrorism investigation. Specialist teams from the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service were also involved in the exercise.

Around 500 volunteers from MPS and LAS also wore special effects make-up to look like realistic wounds in order to expose the first responders taking part in the exercise to the types of injuries that they might face should they be dealing with it for real.

The exercise at Heathrow follows a series of other major live-play, multi-agency exercises in recent years including Exercise ‘Anchor’ in March 2017, which was the response to a staged terrorist attack on the river Thames and Exercise ‘Treblerope’ in December 2016, which was a three-day counter-terrorism exercise at various locations across London including the Royal Mint and Canary Wharf.

The terrorism threat level in the UK remains at ‘severe’ meaning an attack is ‘highly likely’. In recent months, the Met has rolled out a number of specialist counter-terrorism teams across London as part of Project Servator, which includes deployment of Servator teams at Heathrow. The specially-trained officers combine covert deployments and highly visible patrols to detect, deter and disrupt individuals with terrorist or criminal intent.

Anyone who sees something suspicious should report it to police via the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency, dial 999. Visit for more information.

Heathrow, Jaguar and travel services company WeKnowGroup have signed a landmark deal that will see a fleet of up to 200 fully-electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles available to passengers for travel to and from Heathrow.

  • From the summer, a fleet of up to 200 all-electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles will be available to passengers for use to and from the airport

  • Deal reaffirms Heathrow’s commitment to improving air quality and its initiatives to increase EV take-up in and around the airport

  • New research out today shows up to 58% of vehicles on London’s roads are forecasted to be electric by 2030. This uptake will improve London’s air quality by reducing the city’s average concentration of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by as much as 8%

  • New Jaguar I-PACE is a state-of-the-art electric vehicle, with a 298-mile range* and electrifying all-wheel-drive performance

  • 32% of London based travellers to Heathrow indicated that they would be fairly likely (22%) or very likely (9%) to use electric taxis to access the airport if these were made more available.

The service, to roll-out in summer 2018, will create the largest chauffeur-driven fleet of electric vehicles in the UK and support Heathrow’s commitment to improving air quality around the airport.The deal announced today brings together two iconic British brands and a British SME to lead the way in EV adoption, improving air quality and supporting the UK economy. Initially the fleet will be made up of 50 I-PACEs available from summer 2018 with the option to add a further 150 cars in the next 12 months.This fleet will support up to 1,000 electric vehicle journeys to and from Heathrow each day – saving over eight tonnes of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions each year. To support the service, WeKnowGroup will be installing a dedicated charging hub at Heathrow, which will be the largest in the UK.

The all-electric Jaguar Land Rover I-Pace…

Designed and engineered by Jaguar Land Rover in the UK, the all-electric I-PACE is at the forefront of the zero emissions revolution, carrying a state-of-the-art 90kWh Lithium-ion battery and capable of a range of 298 miles*.

New research released by economic consultants CEBR today (report available – here) has revealed the extent of forecasted EV take-up in London over the next decade and its predicted positive impact on air quality, given the impact road vehicles have on NOx emissions.

Following a number of announcements by car manufacturers, Government and the Mayor of London, the CEBR analysis shows that by 2030 up to 58% of vehicles on London’s roads will be electric.The introduction of the T-Charge for more polluting vehicles in October 2017, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and falling purchasing costs for an electric vehicle are some of the main causes driving forward this forecasted shift, which will could result in the average concentration of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) across the city reducing by as much as 8%.

Consumer research run in parallel with this study shows that by 2028, 63% of Londoners will feel comfortable making the switch to an electric vehicle, with falling purchase costs and an expansion of the charging point network likely to fuel widespread adoption. Londoner-based travellers to Heathrow 32% said they would be fairly likely (22%) or very likely (9%) to use electric taxis to access the airport if these were made more available.

We are thrilled to be working with two British companies on this landmark initiative

Emma Gilthorpe, Executive Director at Heathrow, said,“We are thrilled to be working with two British companies on this landmark initiative to support more sustainable transportation choices for our passengers.“We will not compromise on our commitments to the environment and our local community and we remain focussed on addressing the impact road vehicles have on air quality on the roads around the airport. These I-PACEs are the latest in a long line of initiatives we are taking to ensure that we do not force a choice between the economy and the environment – and that we can deliver benefits for both.”

Heathrow already has one of the largest corporate electric vehicle fleets in the UK, and the highest density of charging infrastructure in Europe, and is taking further action to promote the take-up of EVs in and around the airport. This includes a year-on-year increase in more electric vehicle charging points through a £5m investment, the trial of electric buses for airside passengers and plans for an ultra-low emission zone airside.

Heathrow has also signed up to EV100 a global initiative bringing together forward-looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.Peter Buchanan, CEO, WeKnowGroup said,“This is a significant step change in our successful, decades-long relationship with Heathrow where we operate arrivals desks in all terminals, to assist thousands of travellers every year. We provide transport as well as a broad range of other services including entertainment, hotel rooms, tours, attractions and telecoms products.”

“Today’s agreement also extends our deep, long-standing relationship with Jaguar which has allowed us to proudly claim that we run the largest chauffeured executive Jaguar fleet in the UK.” Jeremy Hicks, Jaguar Land Rover UK MD, said,“What we have created in the Jaguar I-PACE is utterly revolutionary; a desirable, luxurious and state-of-the-art electric vehicle that’s practical for genuine everyday use, including the tough life of an airport luxury chauffeur car.”

“We have had huge interest and positivity from our customers worldwide. We’re also delighted that this endorsement extends to some of the biggest corporations on the planet. Through our partnership with Waymo (formerly Google self-driving car project) and this latest deal with Heathrow and WeKnowGroup, we’re excited to be bringing the electric future to more people than ever before.”

Key I-PACE facts:

  • Electrifying all-wheel drive performance from twin Jaguar-designed motors with a combined 400PS and 696Nm delivering 0-60mph in 4.5s

  • 90kWh Lithium-ion battery delivers up to 298 mile range1, with EV navigation to ensure range-optimised routing

  • Bespoke EV aluminium architecture delivers Jaguar’s most rigid body structure with 50:50 weight distribution

  • Rapid public charging from 0-80% in 85-minutes2, with 30-minutes charge giving about 80 miles range. I-PACE will be fully compatible with 100kW chargers as the technology is rolled out across the UK

Based on European WLTP cycle Based on 50kW DC charger. I-PACE will be fully compatible with 100kW chargers as the technology is rolled out across the UK, which will enable a 0-80% charge in 40 minutes. Find out more about Heathrow 2.0 – Heathrow’s Sustainability Leadership Plan – here.

By Chris Loy

Published 8th May 2018