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Halifax Regional Police win contract to take over security at the airport from RCMP

There’s soon to be a new police presence at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, but security will remain unchanged.

An RCMP officer with a police dog arrives at the airport after an Air France jet was diverted to Halifax last month.

That’s the message from airport spokesperson Peter Spurway following news that Halifax Regional Police have won the contract to take over security at the airport from the RCMP.

“The service doesn’t change,” Spurway said of the switch Thursday.

Spurway confirmed Thursday Halifax Regional Police won the contract, though he wouldn’t disclose the winning bid, or how many other bids were submitted.

Council will have to approve the contract before it’s official, though Spurway said council was made aware of the bidding during an in camera meeting.

If council approves the contract, Spurway said Halifax Regional Police will have to provide “armed response to (the airport’s) primary security line” within five minutes, and will have a drug-sniffing dog on site.

The change would happen on Apr. 1, 2016.

The RCMP had its contract for the same service extended in August, and lost this bidding process after winning every one before it.

The Mounties currently have an office at the airport staffed by 10 to 12 officers.

Spurway said the RCMP would still handle incidents like the recent groundings of Air France and Turkish Airlines flights.

“Those are major response from the RCMP,” he said. “That doesn’t change.”

That means some collaboration between Halifax Regional Police and the RCMP -- something Spurway isn’t worried about considering the two forces already work together in Halifax’s integrated crime unit.

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