View Full Version : Pilots to undergo ASIO checks

4th Dec 2003, 21:37
Fri "Melbourne Age"

Pilots to undergo ASIO checks
By Orietta Guerrera
December 5, 2003

All pilots and trainee pilots will undergo background checks by ASIO and other agencies before receiving tamper-proof photographic licences under new aviation security measures.

Federal Transport Minister John Anderson and Justice and Customs Minister Chris Ellison yesterday released a $93 million security package for the aviation industry, largely funded from the surplus of the Ansett ticket levy.

All staff servicing aircraft at Australian airports will be required to hold aviation security identification cards. Pilots will also have to undergo background checks by July next year before being issued new licences.

"Today's announcement of measures, matched with the Aviation Transport Security Bill currently before Parliament, greatly strengthens the already robust framework we put in place after the events of September 11," Mr Anderson said.

All airports will be required to upgrade security, with a $14 million grant program established to help smaller airports. The package also requires hardened cockpit doors to be installed on all aircraft with more than 30 seats.

Twenty Australian Federal Police officers will act as protective security liaison officers at 11 airports, costing $12.8 million. Senator Ellison said they will oversee information-sharing between law enforcement officers, intelligence agencies and the airline industry.

An Office of Transport Security will also be set up and a further $8.4 million will go towards trials of technology to detect explosives and drugs.

Opposition transport spokesman Martin Ferguson said the measures were too little, too late. The Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Airport Security Union said the package failed to guarantee security at regional airports.


6th Dec 2003, 11:00
What about all those aircrew who work for airlines operating internationally into Australia?
:mad: :8

Sperm Bank
6th Dec 2003, 11:47
And what about all the ground crews working around Oz at the moment. I went through security at Syd the other morning and 2 of the lads were speaking arabic to each other. Before you jump on the brain dead racist band wagon, I just thought to myself at the time that in light of current events, it was an interesting choice of applicants.

6th Dec 2003, 13:07
Everyone who currently holds an ASIC card has to re-apply for it before June 04. We will now cop a criminal history background check, a politically motivated violence check and a citizenship check as well...... With all details sent to Customs for good measure! Apparently, 43% of all ASIC cards are issued to people of Middle Eastern descent.

Disco Stu
6th Dec 2003, 13:15
Just a small quote from the above article

"All pilots and trainee pilots will undergo background checks by ASIO and other agencies before receiving tamper-proof photographic licences under new aviation security measures."

I take it these new licences will be ICAO compliant and a NPRM issued for industry comment on the proposed change.

Yeh right:\

Disco Stu

6th Dec 2003, 21:45
G'day Stu! :ok:

These new book licences give me the shits. They're exactly like the pommy/JAR ones (but with a better quality cover). Large & unwieldy. Not even breast pocket sized like our old book licence. Why they couldn't keep CC sized licences is beyond me. D!ickheads. :mad:

7th Dec 2003, 09:38
Are we to believe the new license will make the asic redundant?

Or will we require both?

No doubt it is newer so it will cost more.

To run checks that are already done.... what a joke.

Trouble is, as usual, the joke is on us.


Sheep Guts
7th Dec 2003, 10:31
So what about all us expats around the world ? Do we have to come home to get this done?


Disco Stu
7th Dec 2003, 17:58
This announcement smacks of political expediency, or in other words a politician shooting from the hip:yuk: as so often happens.

Hopefully somebody will set him straight about the form of the licence being iaw ICAO format. And seeing as how some bureaucrat ponced of to Montreal and signed away Australian sovereignty we now have to do things the ICAO way:E

G'Day Tinny, got to agree with you wrt the current licence. Come to think about it, I don't even know where my "new" one is. Gee I'm really worried too :{

Disco Stu

Dog One
7th Dec 2003, 19:33
Where is the thinking power - hardened cockpit doors are to be fitted to aircraft with a capacity of more than 30 passengers. Good thinking - what about the Brasilia it only carries 30 pax. So if we operate a Saab or a Dash we have to fit new cockpit doors , but if we operate a Brasilia, we don't. So are the passengers carried in a Brasilia less safe than those carried in a Dash 8?

8th Dec 2003, 05:00
Rome wasnt built in a day

8th Dec 2003, 05:08
Food for thought;

All pilots and trainee pilots will undergo background checks by ASIO and other agencies before receiving tamper-proof photographic licences under new aviation security measures.

As a student licence is issued after a medical and prior to first solo;

How long will the ASIO checks hold up the licence issue?.

Currently, the FBI checks in the USA take quite a few weeks!.

Federal Transport Minister John Anderson and Justice and Customs Minister Chris Ellison yesterday released a $93 million security package for the aviation industry, largely funded from the surplus of the Ansett ticket levy.

What happens when the surplus levy fund runs out?.

The taxpayer won't fund it - the costs will then pass back to the industry.


Capt Claret
8th Dec 2003, 14:44
I suspect the reference to Licences, in Wirraway's post is a typo. I believe the story refers to the reissue of ASIC cards for all aviation workers, due by June 2004.

8th Dec 2003, 18:11
From the release



Quote from Fact Sheet 6 - General Aviation

"Background checking and licensing of pilots

All pilots and trainee pilots will be required to undertake background checking prior to being issued with new photographic licences by 1 July 2004.

Ensuring that pilots and trainee pilots are subject to background checking will reduce the likelihood of persons who might pose a threat to aviation gaining access to aircraft through legitimate means.

The cost of background checking and the photographic licence will be borne by individual pilots. Licences will be valid for two years and will cost around $200.

Please note: Sport aircraft are not included in the category of aircraft required to be secured from theft. Background checking will not be carried out on pilots of sport aircraft and they will not be required to have a photographic licence. "

8th Dec 2003, 19:33
It used to be a background check going back 2 years here. Now it's a check going back 5 years. An absolute pain in the backside for those who haven't been in the UK for 5 years. There's no mention of new photograph licences. If there's money to be made I am suprised the CAA hasn't cottoned on to it. However, we do have to carry photo ID. In most cases the passport will do. We need it any way when wandering around Europe.

8th Dec 2003, 20:51
By July 2004 hey, "I'd like to see that". And pilots' to pay $200, "tell him he's dreamin"

9th Dec 2003, 05:32
It is ASIC cards, it should be licences.

Nice credit card photo id ones, paid for by CASA, it aint that hard.

Not the Toller love affair with JAR licences we have now (I don't even know where mine is, I have kept my DCA one since I never got a CC licence).


9th Dec 2003, 18:40
Good point Dog One. What about the 20 odd Metro's Operating regional RPT services in Australia. Are the passengers flying on these flights less of a RISK than those on the Dash and the Saab. Look at REX for example, it has both the Metro and the Saab operating from ML, SY and AD. Their Saab pilots will be secure behind the new doors, but no such luck for their Metro pilots.

10th Dec 2003, 02:16
Wonder if australia is like pommieland,if you work for the
british airline and you are from certain foreign lands they dont do a check on you because they cant get the information,
unlike captain bulldog drummond1

10th Dec 2003, 03:50
So at what point during a students training must the full security check be done, prior to the issue of the Student Licence, or 1st solo. As it takes a good 8-12 weeks to get a new ASIC issued with all the new background checking thats required, I can imagine the issue of new Student Pilot Licences clearance would be a low priority and take even longer.

Super Cecil
15th Dec 2004, 00:54
Since the early sixties all pilots in this country have had an ASIO file, they are just going to charge for it now. :(

Capt Snooze
15th Dec 2004, 02:06
Fairly strong statement there, Ces......................

Care to elaborate?

Super Cecil
15th Dec 2004, 02:47
Read a book called " Australian Spies and their Secrets" by David McKnight. It's pretty heavy going at times but there is some very interesting stuff in there.

There has been comment from "Foreign Affairs" the content is accurate.

15th Dec 2004, 03:14
That would be about 35,000 pilots with a one line statement on a computer data base which says; HARMLESS or for others MOSTLY HARMLESS.

Of course Gaunty would have a l o n g entry.

15th Dec 2004, 05:29
The way the article is written is quite ambiguous when it comes to who pays for what. It reads as though all these checks will be paid for by the government out of its Ansett levy. This is quite clearly incorrect for pilots.

It looks like such a nice touchy feely story, 'Your Government Looking After You' sort of thing. To date we have not been able to get anyone from either the government or DOTARS to enunciate any reasons for these checks and why, if the government does consider pilots such a risk, why don't they finance such a program from either general revenue, or something like the Anset levy surplus. We are not being subject to expansive security checks to placate ourselves. The government is bringing in these measures to satisfy what it perceives is a risk to other citizens. What this risk is has not been defined.

Waving your arms about screaming the 'September 11 hijackers were pilots' is not quite the point.

What would be rather amusing to watch is the pilot body simply refusing to pay for such a pitiful measure. If no pilot working for main airlines coughed up it would send a very big message to all concerned.

15th Dec 2004, 06:53
dont worry, the Ansett/ security/ whatever we call it tax is never going to go away! if it draws too much criticism, they will just change its name again.

Eastwest Loco
15th Dec 2004, 09:18
Interesting indeed.

Much as I hate to bring this up, in the aftermath of the '89 maelstorm, the Bodgie Government had all the non returning Pilots listed with Interpol as political dissidents.

This caused many major problems gaining employment worldwide, much of which was overcome once circumstances were explained. I will also add that my mates that went West at the time are still that, and I miss them as much as the ones that came back to our great little airline.

Who does one consider distributed this message? The girl guides perhaps?

ASIO MUST have been the vector to relay this poisonous information to the security services of the world.

Now they are handing them this gig? Be very careful guys and girls - they have no soul.

Best all

EWL - Preparing for the SWAT team this will probably draw.

Super Cecil
15th Dec 2004, 19:28
You mean like they stuck together in the pilot strike readmyacars? just like their sticking together now on Jetstar wages and conditions, I'm afraid the Pilot's Federation no longer has the solidarity or power of the AMA.

Eastwest Loco
16th Dec 2004, 07:31
Don't even try to add an agenda to what I entered Cecil. It was a statement of fact and I do no believe I even eluded to unions now or then.

If you have a gripe with past and current unions, post it. Do not use someone elses genuine post to try to push a barrow so old that the wheel nut are rusted on.

The fact is that ASIO provided detrimental information regarding Australian Pilots to Interpol, tainting them all and attempting to deny good Pilots the opportunity to work overseas.

That was a gross misuse of power by the Bodgie, at the behest of his 2nd best mate - the Fat Man and should never have happened.

Thankfully, the degree of corruption was well known overseas and most carriers took their crappola with a grain of salt.

Best all


16th Dec 2004, 10:16
So at what point during a students training must the full security check be done, prior to the issue of the Student Licence, or 1st solo
Before issue of SPL (and therefore before first solo). It can be a long wait :{

when it comes to who pays for what
At the moment the checks are paid for by government. Soon (not sure when) CASA will start charging us for the "privilege". So... get in quick while it's still free. Download the form from CASA website and hey presto. :ok:


Capt Fathom
16th Dec 2004, 10:26
Following the Bus Hijack in Athens, does this mean all bus drivers and passengers will under go security screening from now on ?

16th Dec 2004, 11:01
How about this one.

All politicians, public servants, union boss's, managing directors, ceo's, airline boss's,legal eagles, migrants and of course, international crews, air and marine, to be subject to the asic checks, before any of our own Ozzy people, in the Aviation and Maritime services.



17th Dec 2004, 07:33
oh the tempatation!!!

Mr Bruce Baird, who put his bit for the $200 security fee, is having a lovely chrissie party in the courtyard as i type this! and there are quite a few pollies around as well!!!

what are my chances of a favourable story in tomorrows paper?

18th Dec 2004, 02:12
Rural sector - read farmers, that handle certain types of fertiliser, are to have their employees checked out by ASIO for suitability in the role.

This will cost each farmer (employer) $1500. Which it seems, will then be picked up by govt.

1. Rural sector employers pay, why not Aviation sector employers?

2. At this point, it seems govt. will reimburse rural sector. Why not Aviation sector?

Maximus B
19th Dec 2004, 22:06
GA security effective
AOPA US has praised a US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that "the small size, lack of fuel capacity, and minimal destructive power of most general aviation aircraft make them unattractive to terrorists and, thereby, reduce the possibility of threat associated with their misuse." The report concludes that continued partnerships between the GA industry and the government - such as AOPA's Airport Watch program - were vital to the long term success of efforts to enhance security at nearly 19,000 GA landing facilities. The report - "General Aviation Security: Increased Federal Oversight is Needed but Continued Partnership with the Private Sector is Critical to Long-Term Success" - was made after more than a year of study. It said: "The public/private partnership has been strengthened ... through the teaming of TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and general aviation industry associations," such as AOPA. AOPA US president Phil Boyer said: "This new GAO report confirms and adds validity to what AOPA and the GA industry has been saying ever since the September 11 attacks- GA airports are so many and so varied that a 'one-size-fits-all' security plan is just not feasible." Boyer said that the report was important as much for what it did not say as for what it did say. "It does not see the need for any specific physical security mandates at general aviation airports. Instead, the GAO's conclusions call for systemic changes within and better oversight by the TSA and the FAA. "The fact that several of the recommendations are either already in place or in the works shows that general aviation security is on the right track." As part of the study, the GAO visited 31 GA airports picked for their variety of physical characteristics and types of operations. The report found that most of the airport managers it interviewed had already established a number of security enhancements, using either airport revenue, or state or federal grant money to fund some the enhancements. It said many of the airport managers had sought effective enhancements such as creating or updating security plans, sharing those plans with tenants, or arranging for more patrols or an on-site presence of local law enforcement. Airport managers had been using risk assessment tools included in the TSA's Guidelines for General Aviation Airport Security . The agency developed the tools after consultations with and recommendations from general aviation industry representatives, including AOPA, who were part of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee's Working Group on General Aviation Security. The report cited the AOPA Airport Watch program, which it noted had already been implemented at many of the airports visited, including the use of signs and posters provided to the airports by AOPA, as well as training programs such as the Airport Watch video that illustrated the types of situations for which shows pilots and airport employees to be alert. AOPA developed Airport Watch in consultation with TSA, knowing that TSA needed to deal with the larger security issues at air carrier airports. As part of its contribution to Airport Watch, TSA provides a nationwide toll-free hotline (866-GA-SECURE), staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for pilots and airport personnel to report suspicious activity. The report said many pilots have taken unilateral actions to prevent unauthorised use of their aircraft, such as using prop or throttle locks, or locking their aircraft in hangars. The GAO report criticised the FAA for not developing a standardised, documented way to review and revalidate security-related temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) in order to determine their effectiveness and whether or not they were still needed. It noted that the number of TFR violations was up since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as was the number and severity of disciplinary actions - but 95 per cent of the violations involve either presidential security-related or national security-related TFRs, many of which are issued with limited advance notice. It also noted the economic hardships such TFRs cause, both for aviation-related businesses within, and aircraft trying to fly into, out of, or through the affected area. The GAO report cited a study which indicated that GA pilots, passengers, and businesses have lost more than $1 billion since the September 11 attacks due to increased costs, lost revenues and additional operating costs. The GAO said the FAA needed to develop and implement a method for reviewing and revalidating TFRs, especially those issued for indefinite periods, such as the Baltimore-Washington air defense identification zone (ADIZ). Boyer said: "AOPA worked closely with Congress on the Vision 100 FAA Reauthorization Act of 2003 to include language that requires the Department of Transportation to re-justify the need for the ADIZ to Congress every 60 days. "This new GAO report expands on that, urging the FAA to come up with a standardised method for evaluating whether or not a flight restriction should be established, and if it is, whether it should be continued." The GAO report stated that the TSA faced a significant challenge when trying to communicate warnings to the GA community. "Timely, specific, and actionable information are three key principles of effective risk communication," the report said. Part of the problem was the general, non-specific nature of much of the anti-terrorist intelligence
gathered: "The more detailed and specific the threat information, the more likely the information is classified, and, therefore, not available to those without appropriate security clearances." The task of risk communication is further complicated by the lack of an accurate, complete list of contacts for all of the approximately 5000 public use and 14,000 private use GA landing facilities. The GAO recommended -
* TSA should develop a risk management plan that helps airports assess vulnerabilities.
* TSA should apply risk communication principles including specific threat information.
* FAA should develop plan for reviewing and revalidating flight restrictions.
* TSA needs to better monitor foreign nationals learning to fly in the United States.
* TSA and FAA need to review process for issuing waivers to enter restricted airspace. Two of the recommendations - monitoring foreign national flight students and reviewing the waiver process - were included in a classified version of the GAO report. The TSA's alien flight training rule, which was issued after the GAO study was completed and on which AOPA was working closely with TSA to refine and repair problems in the regulatory language, may ultimately address the first of the GAO's classified recommendations. "When all is said and done, this is a very positive report for general aviation," said Boyer. "It proves that our approach - a cooperative effort that draws on the government's security expertise and the GA industry's aviation expertise - is the best approach for making sure terrorists won't be able to use our world-class general aviation system against us."

20th Dec 2004, 04:15
And then we get a punter in the local rag complaining in letters to the editor that the Office of National Security didn't take his concerns of light AND ultra-light aircraft buzzing around the Hazelwood powerstation seriously enough.:mad:

Concerned citizen wins over industry advice...especially if it dovetails with bureaucratic whitewash:(

20th Dec 2004, 12:19
Your comments are right ReadMyACARS:

The government, as in the aviation bureacracy, security agencies, etc., all have 'security' files on we pilots now.

So what is new with all this security checking ?????

It is just political nonesense in an era of terrorist threat.
I ask the boofheads in Canberra where is this threat likely to come from? Well common bloody sense tells me not from the pilot fraternity unless a pilot joins the jihad and decides to take some extreme action.
So the security checking should be done on the community at large and the general taxpayer should pay for it.

It is sheer lunacy and discrimination against a small group in society to pick us out and screw us.

What about truck drivers, van drivers, boaties, car drivers whoever.
Terrorism and acts of violence are a community issue and the community at large should pay for it.
We all need to lobby our local pollies and associations about this and NOW before they pass all this crazy legislation.

VH-Cheer Up
21st Dec 2004, 01:14
Yup, gotta get on the case...

See my post on http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=154363&perpage=15&pagenumber=8