Air passengers travelling from Coventry Airport are facing stringent security after a major terrorist plot to blow up aircraft in mid-flight was thwarted by the Metropolitan Police's anti-terrorist branch and the security service, police have said.
Security at all of the UK's airports was stepped up, with hand luggage banned from aircraft cabins, after a number of people were arrested in London overnight - the culmination of a major covert counter-terrorist operation lasting several months.
Coventry Airport said it was intensifying its security activities in line with the Department for Transport's requirements.
A spokeswoman said: "Our flights have gone out on time this morning because we are a smaller airport and our flights are spaced out. We are able to cope at the moment."
Home Secretary John Reid said police had carried out "a major counter-terrorism operation to disrupt what we believe to be a major threat to the UK and international partners".
He said the alleged plot was "very significant" and was designed to "bring down a number of aircraft through mid-flight explosions, causing a considerable loss of life".
The Home Secretary warned that the operation would mean major disruption at all UK airports from today but he added: "As far as is possible we want people to go about their business as normal."
Following the police action, security at all UK airports has been increased and additional security measures been put in place for all flights.
All hand baggage has been banned from aircraft cabins, other than essential items such as a small wallet or purse, travel documents, sanitary products and basic provisions for infants. Parents were being asked to taste baby milk before boarding.