Protest Prevention At Airports: Enhancing Security


Airports are some of the busiest locations in the world.

97,000 passengers travelled through Stansted airport on July 31.

When protests occur at airports, chaos can easily be created. When your job is to make sure that there are measure in place to keep people and equipment within the airport safe, but also respect people’s right to protest, this can be complicated.

In this blog, we’ll explore the world of protests at airports and how security fencing can help mitigate the dangers that can occur, to ensure you’re specifying the right fence to mitigate your risks.




Protests at Airports: Balancing Security and the Right to Protest


Airports can become a focal point for various types of protests.

Understanding these protests is essential for creating effective security strategies while safeguarding the right to peaceful assembly.

Airports can be the stage for a diverse range of protests, each with its own motivations and objectives. These include:


  1. Labour Strikes: Airport employees, such as airline staff and baggage handlers, may go on strike to demand better working conditions, fair wages, or job security.


  1. Environmental Protests: Activists concerned about the environmental impact of aviation may stage protests against airport expansion, increased air travel, or specific airline practices.


  1. Political Demonstrations: Airports can be high-profile venues for political protests.


  1. Travel-Related Issues: Passengers and consumer advocacy groups may organise protests against airlines or airport authorities in response to issues like excessive fees, flight cancellations, overbooking, or inadequate customer service.


  1. Security and Surveillance Concerns: Concerns about privacy and civil liberties can lead to protests against invasive security measures, such as body scanners or extensive passenger profiling.



Ensuring both airport security and the right to protest peacefully is a challenging task that requires careful consideration, especially when specifying security fencing.

When you come to specify a fence to minimise issues caused by protests, it’s important to consider you’re meeting the following requirements:


Protecting Airport Operations: Maintaining the safety and efficiency of airport operations is crucial. Disruptions caused by protests can lead to flight delays, cancellations, and potential security breaches. High-security fencing plays a role in minimising these risks by creating boundaries and defining secure perimeters.

Safeguarding Civil Liberties: Striking the right balance between security and the right to protest is essential. Security fencing can delineate spaces for protests while keeping restricted areas secure, helping to maintain order during demonstrations.

Designated Protest Areas: Some airports create designated areas for protests to occur peacefully without affecting security and operations. These areas can help ensure that protests are organised and lawful.

So, how can security fencing help you to meet these requirements?


The Role of Security Fencing in Protest Prevention


Airports have two very distinct areas, terminal buildings and airfields. Airfields are highly controlled areas with moving vehicles, planes and authorised personnel only. Whilst terminals are highly controlled places, they are also crowded public places.

Fencing is commonly used around the airfield, securing the perimeter so people know where they are not authorised to enter.

Equipped with access control points, such as gates and turnstiles, it restricts entry to authorised personnel only. This means that unauthorised protesters cannot easily breach the secure perimeter of the airport, reducing the risk of disruption to critical operations.

Additionally, while security fencing is primarily designed to protect airport infrastructure, it also enhances safety for protesters and airport personnel. By clearly marking boundaries and preventing unauthorised access to hazardous areas like runways, it reduces the risk of accidents and injuries during protests.

Security fencing is not just a physical barrier; it is a key tool in maintaining the security and functionality of airports while respecting the right to protest. By striking a balance between these crucial elements, airports can effectively prevent disruptions, ensuring the safety and satisfaction of both travellers and protesters.

Making the perimeter difficult to climb, and possibly making it anti-climb, means anyone attempting to enter the premises can be stopped. Once CCTV or PIDs have alerted staff, having high and anti-climb fencing can add a lot of time to stop the attack.


Barkers Fencing: Specifying Fences For Protest Prevention


As airports often serve as international borders, governments and businesses seek security measures that are devoid of vulnerabilities and capable of withstanding heavy use.

To ensure the highest level of safety, it recommended to select airport security fencing products that meet standards. These standards include the LPCB LPS 1175 A1 standard, or LPS 1175 B3.

Here at Barkers, we offer an array of security fencing such as:

Our security fencing products include, but aren’t exhausted to:



If you are looking for advice from one of our experts, make sure to get in contact with a member of the Barkers Fencing team.

Our fencing experts can offer you advice on how to efficiently protect your airport using security fencing, to ensure you’re specifying the right product for you.

Quite often, temporary fencing is a popular option to secure airport airfields. Check out TempGuard on our website!





Why Are Protests At Airports Different From Protests In Other Locations?

Protests at airports can have a significant impact on the safety and operations of these sensitive areas, making them unique. They often involve complex security and logistical challenges.


How Do High-Security Fences Enhance Protest Prevention At Airports?

Security fencing serves as a crucial physical barrier that helps control access, maintain safety boundaries, and deter unlawful behaviour during protests at airports.


Can Protesters Still Exercise Their Right To Free Speech At Airports With Security Fencing In Place?

Yes, individuals have the right to protest peacefully at airports. Security

fencing is designed to strike a balance between security and the right to protest, often by designating specific protest zones within airport premises.


What Are Some Legal And Ethical Considerations When Implementing Security Measures At Airports?

Airport authorities must adhere to legal and ethical standards to avoid infringing on individuals’ rights. They need to respect the democratic right to peaceful assembly while ensuring safety and security.


How Can Airports And Law Enforcement Effectively Manage Protests While Maintaining Security?

Effective coordination between airport security personnel, law enforcement agencies, and protest organisers is crucial for ensuring that protests are peaceful, lawful, safe and do not disrupt airport operations.