Had a meeting at Heathrow yesterday, One of my MI projects had completed it's 3 years and had to give a final report to us, DTI, Queen Marys College who did the academic research and the Industrial partners. One of the latter is BAA (British Airports Authorities) and as the project is based on software for recognition and identification of "incidents"" and "undesirable" many of the trials were carried out at Heathrow. The meeting and presentation of the project was therefore held at the Heathrow Visitor Centre.
Well if you have never been to this wonder - don't bother. The visitor centre is supposed to be a museum cum hands on experience of Heathrow, it's history and activities and consists of the history of the Wright bros. to commercial airlines with such wonderful exhibits as a cargo crate and some dummies of firefighters and mechanics.There are also some interactive machines in which you can simulate landing a passenger aircraft - great training for would be hijackers.
Outside the walls are lined with dubious looking characters with bobble hats and spectacles held together with elastoplast, binoculars hanging from their necks, Shortwave radio plugged into their ears and note book in hand. Ah! I exclaimed - Plane spotters! or where they? Could these characters not be members of Al Queda planning their next attack on Western civilization - because the security was non existent we will never know. Its ironic that we were there to celebrate the success of a security product.
And the buffet lunch was terrible!