The Crisis Response Journal is very proud to welcome Andy Blackwell to its Advisory Panel. Andy was formerly Head of Corporate Security with Virgin Atlantic, where he was responsible for all aspects of the airline’s security activities, including security incident response and providing strategic direction to the senior leadership team. Andy played a key role in ensuring Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to achieve formal accreditation from the UK regulator for its Aviation Security Management System (SeMS).
While with the airline, Andy was heavily involved in the responses to several major terrorist and disruptive events against aviation, including Operation Overt (the Liquid Explosives plot), the MH17 shoot down and the Sydney Printer Cartridge plot. He has also been commended by the Metropolitan Police Service for demonstrating a high degree of professionalism and providing an exceptional level of service during a period of heightened threat against civil aviation interests.
Prior to joining Virgin Atlantic, Andy was UK Security Manager and Lead Threat Assessor with DHL International, where he established DHL's Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for law enforcement - an industry first. He also trained DHL’s Threat Assessment teams and managed several high-profile threat situations, including company responses to the impacts of terrorist incidents, including the 9-11 attacks and the Docklands bombing. Andy was commended for his role in supporting the UK response to an incident involving a fatal mid-air collision between a DHL aircraft and a passenger airliner over Germany.
Andy has a law enforcement and intelligence background, with previous service with UK Customs, British Transport Police, the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the National Drugs Intelligence Service of the Czech Republic. He is now an independent security and resilience consultant specialising in Security Management Systems, transport and critical national infrastructure security. Andy has authored many articles on security, threat, and resilience, and is a regular speaker at international security conferences and events.