View Full Version : CHIRP - More useless CAA comment regarding crew security.

1st Aug 2008, 16:07
CHIRP No. 87 has just arrived. There are 5 individual accounts regarding harrassment of crew members and engineers by security operatives, yet the astonishing comment from the CAA is:

The CAA has indicated recently that the number of MORs related to security incidents has increased; however, relatively few of these identify an actual flight safety risk such as a missed check or a specific action that was necessary to mitigate any risk to flight safety, such as delaying the scheduled departure. In the absence of such evidence, the CAA maintains the view that security incidents do not represent a significant threat to safety and thus, by implication, fall outside the Authority's regulatory remit.
The reluctance of individuals to declare formally that their ability to operate has been impaired as a result of a security experience is understandable; however, it is important to include in any formal report any outcome or additional precaution arising from a security experience, if this problem is to be acknowledged and addressed.

"The CAA maintains the view that security incidents do not represent a significant threat to safety..." Haven't these people ever heard of the term 'being nibbled to death by ducks'? A security 'incident' might just prove to be the final death-dealing duck bite to someone already suffering from tiredness, frustration and fatigue.

The CAA should be made to watch the old military Flight Safety film 'Frustration' to learn how cumulative effects impact upon safety.

Meanwhile, my sympathies for all those crews who have to deal with rude, ill-mannered oafishness from those bottom-fondling failed wheel-clampers who are employed as security personnel at UK airports.

1st Aug 2008, 17:30
This is the CAA playing the 'liability clause'. OK they are saying it ain't in my bailiwick until as such time this situation causes (proven by investigative/forensic evidence) are known. It's just a CYA function, what the heck are those at 'The Belgrano' doing anyway, apart from protecting their old Civil Service pensions?

There was a time when the CAA looked after all licensed aviation members.

Comments welcome, but please not here, place on the JetBlast rant thread, or start a new one.

Cheers folks.

1st Aug 2008, 18:26
Anyone got a copy of 'Frustration'.......saw it as an ATC cadet many years ago waiting for the rain to pass Manston.....yes a good example for them to see....

1st Aug 2008, 22:14
No, I'm sorry. I disagree. I spend a lot of time doing the no-shoe shuffle in and out of uniform and at worst the security staff have been disinterested. Most of the time they look you in the eye with a "we're all in this together" resignation. I had a tube of Bonjella taken off me once (out of uniform) 'cos it wasn't bagged. Fair cop. Stupid knee-jerk rule but I broke it.

I also had a row at LGW South about taking 2 bags through whilst positioning. But the BAA security chap sent the two yellow-sweatshirted YTSs on their way and waved me through.

Back at work the only guys who've gone off on one about security are fairly highly-strung and are just as likely to complain about the crew cheese anyway.

There are rules. They may be fair or not but they are blanket rules. We as crew are fully aware of them and they've been around for 102 weeks now. Do keep up. Indeed it's been a long time since I've seen any crew get hassled.

Don't get me wrong: I only work out of three UK airports. All recognise my ID and none cause any problems. If you're an engineer or flight crew who go to odd little nowhere airports then maybe you can tell me I'm out of order.

In the meantime all I can say is the less bitching we do in the crew lanes, the more resources the security folks at airports can devote to rounding up the, ahem, more suspect of our fellow Brits. Watching the 10 O'clock news as we speak. Item 2.

1st Aug 2008, 22:44
The way in what now amounts to a significant number of Engineers, Cabin and Flight Deck Crews have been humiliated, abused, intimidated and frustrated by the varying degrees and depths of security searches must not be underestimated.

The way in which these searches could impact on an individuals performance in his or her job subesquent to such an experience also should not be underestimated.

Yes there are the hotheads amongst us who do fuel the fire by their behaviour during security searches, but the vast majority who have been ill treated during these searches have said nothing to fuel the sitaution and been more than happy to cooperate fully.

I wear a suit to work. Therefore, my occupation and who I work for is more anonymous than when I used to wear a uniform. The result is that at Security Check Points, I hear the conversations between security staff that perhaps would not take place should my occupation and employer be more obvious. On a number of occasions I have heard the behaviour during security searches of staff from the company I work for openly criticised by security staff. On one ocassion after hearing such a conversation I did make my position within the company known and the security staff were extremely embarassed.

Only recently, the experience of one of my colleagues whilst being searched traumatised him so much that he could not carry on working and left the company. Over reaction on behalf of my colleague perhaps. No, not if you knew the full story.


2nd Aug 2008, 10:50
Ive been through a fair few security gates and have sometimes found them staffed by people brusque to the point of rudeness, but generally they seem aware that they are doing a job that they know is pigging people off, but have no way to change the rules they have to apply.

However comma I'm trying to imagine what sort of search would traumatise someone to the point of giving up their job, and all I can think of is the one involving the long rubber gloves and both hands! But I dont think theyd do that to you unless you were definitely dodgy, and if youre who I think you are, youd never ever live that one down! Let us know, if you can, I for one would be fascinated.

There's no way I'd do the security job, especially after observing some of the attitudes from passengers (or are they customers these days?) - I've seen several who I'd cheerfully deck if they came that with me!

2nd Aug 2008, 12:51
Very cute:

The reluctance of individuals to declare formally that their ability to operate has been impaired as a result of a security experience is understandable; however, it is important to include in any formal report any outcome or additional precaution arising from a security experience, if this problem is to be acknowledged and addressed.

A. In the first phrase, the CAA acknowledges that there is a serious safety issue here, and one they should have the authority to treat (right after stating that there is none, and they don't).
B. In the second phrase, the bureaucracy tells you what it wants. Does the guy sitting next to you keep coming back to the incident at security? That's a "measurable degradation of situation awareness", is it not? Carry a phthegmometer and do a BP check after passing security. Odds are, it'll be measurably higher as a result of your having to explain to those clowns what a phthegmometer is and why you're carrying one. Even if your vital signs are normal, checking them counts as an "additional precaution arising from a security experience."

2nd Aug 2008, 13:33
Was the incident you mentioned investigated by your companys personnel dept Temps?, someone undergoing such a experiance at work which led to that person being unable to continue with their job sounds rather a serious matter to me

2nd Aug 2008, 13:55
The answer is simple. Most of us will do whatever it takes to avoid the humiliation, rudeness, and general prison treatment given not only the crews but the customers. I was going to take a holiday with my whole family to London and show them the White Tower, which I very much enjoyed as a pilot on layover in that fascinating city. I have 19 dependents by the way and I intended to take them all.

Not Anymore. We'll do something by car locally that avoids all this unpleasantness.

2nd Aug 2008, 14:14
I had to smile recently when passing through security with wife and stepdaughter en route to Corfu for a holiday. The security man objected to my daugter's 50 ccs. of perfume in her handbaggage worth about £80. He argued that he was going to confiscate it and she argued that it was worth a lot of money and below the maximum volume of liquid that she was allowed to carry. The security man obviously wasn't going to give in despite my daughter being polite and as reasonable as it was possible to be. Finally it was "So you are totally determined to discard this very expensive liquid which complies with the security regulations to be carried in my hand baggage?"
By what right have you got to security check me anyway?
"Every right as you are a passenger>"
"No I am not - I am persuing a criminal."
With that, she produced her police warrant card, collected her hand baggage, carefully walked around the scanner and rejoined us as we walked towards the departure lounge!


2nd Aug 2008, 14:48
I have to say that I'm long past the point of taking a combative attitude with the more militant security people.... Most are courteous and friendly, but as described, there are those who are obviously drunk on the tiny amount of authority they've been given and see themselves as the single handed guardians of our nation's aviation security. Fine. I'd rather they took the job too seriously in some ways than not seriously enough. I just ask in a friendly manner when I get to the scanner if it's laptops in or out and shoes on or off. (Assuming there's no signage to indicate which). I then cheerfully comply with whatever demands they make on me. This has the effect of speeding my way through with the pleasant majority and totally removing the pleasure that the ridiculous few get from ordering me about. I won't allow these idiots to raise my blood pressure one notch. It's not worth risking stress related illness for, and on the odd occasion that someone makes an unreasonable demand, I don't argue, I just make a mental note of their name and ask to see the supervisor. In all cases the problem has been resolved quickly and without fuss.

The above is not meant to devalue the views and experiences of those who unfortunately have received wholly unjustifiable treatment at the hands of security staff, and I like many others feel that the CAA has a duty to get involved with such incidents rather than waiting for the accident to happen. However, I do feel that it is within each of ours grasp to make these searches as painless as possible by going in with the right mental attitude...... That's what I find anyway!

2nd Aug 2008, 15:26
Whilst many people have plenty of tales about the appalling attitudes of many security functionaries, my main concern is that the CAA are seemingly not prepared to become involved in this Flight Safety issue.

The comment in CHIRP runs totally against normal Flight Safety, where if a potential hazard is identified by flight crew, engineers or ATC, something is done about it!

You don't just sit back and wait until after the accident to say "No-one told us it was a problem".

Mind you, after I raised a formal complaint with Frankfurt airport, one particularly nasty security operative was sent for further training and I received an abject apology!

2nd Aug 2008, 15:36
Pilcher.... is that not mis use of Warrant card if not on duty?

Gertrude the Wombat
2nd Aug 2008, 16:26
Pilcher.... is that not mis use of Warrant card if not on duty?
Shouldn't think so. As Vimes says, "everybody is guilty of something". So whoever was in front of her in the queue was almost certainly a criminal and she was definitely following them ...

2nd Aug 2008, 17:28
It was none of the security officer's business who she was persuing and neither was it mine. If she said she was persuing a criminal, then that was her business and as such as a U.K.police officer she was entitled to walk through security at any U.K. airport which she did!


2nd Aug 2008, 18:10
I think you should all learn to read between the lines...
CHIRP did ASK for reports to be sent in but, it seems, the reports received don't mention any EFFECT this security hassle is having - just that it is annoying! Big News - it IS annoying.
Make sure your future reports mention something to do with Flight Safety or that you felt it was difficult to make a judgement somewhere - then they might get off their high horses and do something about it!

They NEED EVIDENCE of Flight Safety problems - not just the hassle caused by taking your shoes off.

2nd Aug 2008, 18:37
I have submitted ASRs following harrassment at security, including when a "cock up" was made during a SID. Nothing was ever received back from the CAA.

But God Forbid if I forget to fill an oil level or something else on a Tech Log page........ The e-mails fly around from all sorts of jobsworths in the Belgrano.

Anyone else had this sort of rubbish?

Farty Flaps
2nd Aug 2008, 18:41
Annoying certainly, a risk to flight safety...gimme a break. Only if you are already using all your available yerkes curve to fly anyway.
If that level of hassle is enough to put you off then you really should reevaluate your career.
As someone has mentioned its is my experience also that its the usual suspects that have daily run ins with security.
I have a few run ins but for gods sake deal with it and stop moaning and writing into pointless newsletters in the style of outraged Colonel Blimps or Major Misunderstandings.
Its embarassing.:ugh:

2nd Aug 2008, 19:13
Got back from a tour today to find said issue of CHIRP sitting on doormat. I too read the CAA's comments with incredulity - what a farce this whole sorry issue is...........sometime soon somebody will miss the googly because they are still thinking about the way they were treated like some sort of terrorist whilst passing through 'security' :mad:

Ellis Hill
2nd Aug 2008, 19:28
But is anyone saying that to the CAA? Has anyone gone home 'unfit to fly' after a confrontation with security? Has anyone filed an MOR saying they were so annoyed that they felt unable to continue working in a safe and sensible manner and went home. Or even had to lay down in a dark room for an hour.....

Not many, that's what CHIRP are after. If we are really all wound up beyond reason by security, then go home and tell your company and the CAA why. Almost all these CHIRP reports end with the day continuing and even the 'flight leaving on time after top effort by F/O, CC.etc'.

2nd Aug 2008, 19:50
Why Can't We the Pilots Make Out MOR Reports stating the Stress effect.

BECAUSE we all know if one of us says "Sorry I'm Now TOO Stressed to Operate" some smart alec in your Airline Or The CAA, Will say Oh you better not fly untill you have been checked over for being too easily stressed and Oh maybe we will pull your medical untill you can prove that you are in control of your stress levels.

Yes I know we are in control but them Security have us by the short & % and they know it as do the CAA. QED

Sorry CHIRP not much is going to change unless a no jepardy protocol is in place by the CAA, which ain't going to happen.:ugh:

wee one
2nd Aug 2008, 20:11
I would find it worrying that pilots were stressed out to the point of distraction from such incidents. Purely because it may indicate an unsuitable personaility type for a pilot.Furthermore, decision making under much greater stress would clearly be faulty following the logic.. So yes I would agree with the CAA/company on this. It may have annoyed you but if that is enough to destroy your skills then god help us all.

Come on guys its posturing of the worst kind. There are many more stresses in daily life that you dont get so uppity about. A bit of a ding dong with a security type should even register. See point one.

One chap where I work is consatnly having issue about being felt up. I dont doubt him but it isnt the security staffs fault. He has an enormous pair of knackers that keep lodging themsleves in the friskers hands causing rather weighty cupping.
I have standard issue clockweights L1A1 two for the use of, that without fail avoid the caresses of the sweaty wandering hands. Much to my chagrin.
I have recommended a firmer support such as a good pair of calvins but he is a luddite y fronter (M+S...5 for 2 quid)

Just get on with it and stop giving people a chance to laugh at our collective pomposity.:cool:

2nd Aug 2008, 20:49
To make it fair and to highlight that you are searching or being searched to find concealed restricted items and their is nothing personal or enjoyable about it, you should be searched by the opposite sex. Some may enjoy it and some may not, just like now.

2nd Aug 2008, 21:06
Having read the collective CHIRP reply to various issues surrounding crew searches I just threw the thing in the bin - whats the point ?

I am tired, so tired, of being security screened by people who clearly have no understanding of aircraft and operating crews. I postively try to maintain an even keel by a little banter and a smile but when told time and time again to remove shoes and belt by a juvenile who calls me 'mate' followed by a 'frisk' which seems a little too 'friendly' for my liking - I just raise my brow and dream of the day when I can walk away for the last time.

2nd Aug 2008, 21:20
It was none of the security officer's business who she was persuing and neither was it mine. If she said she was persuing a criminal, then that was her business and as such as a U.K.police officer she was entitled to walk through security at any U.K. airport which she did!

Wrong. Her abuse of authority was no better than the security persons.

The UK is not a Hollywood film, no authority dressed in black. Police Officers are subject to the same laws and regulations as civilians, whether it is the use of lethal force or taking perfume through airport security.

Her actions are misuse of her warrant card, a disciplinary offence and bringing her force into disrepute.

Red Top Comanche
2nd Aug 2008, 22:01
I wonder if anyone has considered whether security personnel who enforce rules too rigorously might be guilty of malfeasance.

I seem to recall that if you work in a public body, this is at least a disciplinary offence, if not a criminal one in some circumstances.

Worth a thought.

Ancient Observer
3rd Aug 2008, 14:09
In simple English, it seems to me that the Big Grey Battleship is telling us to EITHER find a way to MOR the problem, OR Shut up moaning.

MOR it or still be moaning on pprune in 5 or 10 years time.....

Having hassle on the way to the plane is not MOR-able. (Most of the hassle is caused by folk living too far away - thus a stoppy security person is likely to irritate someoen who has just driven 2 - 3 hours from their country mansion)

3rd Aug 2008, 19:42
Wee One Before making statements go and check up on the stress "bathtub Curve"
Personally I don't want my Pilot 3/4 the way up it, before he/she has to cope with other hassels and then an emergency.

Go talk to a shrink the'll explain.

4th Aug 2008, 00:14
I suspect I won't win any popularity contests with my comments, but some people should really get a grip on reality.

There are two separate issues here that some people are trying to merge into one. Don't get me wrong, as I am no great fan of the security screening that we as crew members are subjected to in many jurisdictions. It does seem ludicrous to take a bottle of hot sauce away from a pilot who can use his aircraft as a weapon if he or she is so motivated. And I may roll my eyes when I'm exposed to the minority of security officers who seem to take pleasure in giving us a hard time in front of passengers. But it is what it is, and it's been going on for the better part of seven years now. To whit, it's not like we shouldn't expect it to happen once in a while. The fact that it still stresses some people out concerns me, given that this is hardly the only source of potential frustration we can face on the way to the aircraft. There's a much greater chance that you'll be cut off by some knob on the road on the way to work, than there is that you'll be harrassed by security. And I can't recall the last time someone submitted an MOR for having been cut off on the way to work.

In other words, I am all for lobbying for changes to security procedures to reduce the amount of scrutiny we currently enjoy in some places. Here in Canada, where we have instituted a biometric ID process, we get the third degree far less often than we used to, and most of us like it much better this way. But to try to say that the security process is somehow unique in making us unsafe to perform our duties is muddying the issue at best. Life can be full of stressors, and it's our duty to either deal with them and move on, or to remove ourselves from duty if we feel we can't do so.

4th Aug 2008, 07:28
"Here in Canada, where we have instituted a biometric ID process, ..."

Well here in the UK I think you will find 'security' is whole different thing. I have no problem with security anywhere else in the world. The UK is totally out of step. Spoke to a Delta crew in Stuttgart the other day.
Me 'Do you fly to London?'
Them 'Sometimes'
Me 'How do you find our airport security'
Them 'Oh we love it. We love it so much that is why we are here'
Me 'Me too'

Lots of my colleauges actively avoid any slips in the UK due to idiotic rules and the nightclub bouncers that enforce them. I am away 12/14 nights a month and had my first UK nightstop last week for about a year.

Airbus Unplugged
4th Aug 2008, 08:25
The managerial technique of stalling for evidence is just one of the basket of common tools, not only in this industry, but now firmly taken root in all sectors of British society. You could imagine Sir Humphrey advising the Minister on how to dodge an issue without having to do anything about it:

Sir Humphrey: "I mean they'll give it the most serious and earnest consideration and insist on a thorough and rigorous examination of all the proposals, allied with detailed feasibility study and budget analysis, before producing a consultative document for consideration by all interested bodies and seeking comments and recommendations to be included in a brief, for a series of working parties who will produce individual studies which will provide the background for a more wide ranging document, considering whether or not the proposal should be taken forward to the next stage."
Jim Hacker: "You mean they'll block it?"
Sir Humphrey: "Yeah."

The ceaseless call for reports and evidence give the officials a limitless cushion on which they can relax and avoid having to do anything precipitous, such as challenge another government department. Far easier to ignore it and print a periodical platitude to those amongst us who suffer this discrimination several times a day.:ugh:

wee one
4th Aug 2008, 15:29
Before talking bollocks why dont you refer to it by its real name. Yerkes Dodson.
Next as you have pointed out I too wouldnt want a pilot at the top of the curve before operating. Therefore it is reasonable to surmise that if this level of stress is sufficient to achieve peak emotional arousal followed by degradation in performance then maybe they are in the wrong job.As alluded to earlier on this debate.
Funny how there is no hullabaloo, mor etc on here about self inflicted stresses that strangley dont have the same affect as a minor spat with a ********.ie bad drive in after choosing to live as far away as possible.Row with the mistress,
It always seems to be the bad men at security or management.
Selective moaning. But it does give outlet to lots of harumphing and strenous demonstartions of umbrage.Proper respect and all that. Not safety.
What a crock. Usual suspects giving forth about "my" f/o, my aircraft, my command authority, my knight in shining armour nonesense.
If its cumulative then the onus is on the individual to reduce other stresses as these days security is a known source of it. Its the level of stress it produces that iis in dispute.

So apruneuk why dont you go and ask a shrink, i already have.
JO read your post after I posted mine seems we are on a simialr track although I give way to your eloquence.

4th Aug 2008, 16:03
If the CAA don't seem interested in safety (see other threads), turn a blind eye at crew hours, EASA requirements for airline ops, staff and maintenance why should they worry about professionals getting highly stressed working in what has now become a self regulated industry after being sexually assaulted and abused before carrying out their duties? As an earlier post mentioned ref 50c of perfume, half the time the staff carrying out the searches don't evn know the rules themselves.

When all kinds of human factor abuses get highlighted, probably, but hopefully not by an incident, then maybe things will be relooked at. Until then just pass over your money for your new license!

Right off to get a WMD (also known as a 250ml bottle of coke) from the vending machine in the terminal which is now safe as it got into the machine via the lift and not central search.

4th Aug 2008, 20:30
All a rather sad waste of time when you can just hop over the fence at LHR....

4th Aug 2008, 23:42
As a Security officer ("nob") as we seem to be referred to quite a lot on this thread, may I please justify what we do with the simple words..."We operate in the UK under the rules that the Dept for Transport set out".
I was also a serving Merseyside police officer until retirement from the force and to be quite frank (as has already been pointed out on this thread), what this officer did regarding the warrant card incident was disgraceful if not embarrassing even though she was right regarding the perfume. There are, as many of you will probably know, certain procedures to be used by police employed at airports..... normal police officers cannot just walk through as they please....The airport chief exec does not just walk through as he pleases, neither do Chief Constables.
I take your point regarding abusive security staff who act way above what they were trained to do and indeed operate as though they have the absolute right to be abusive...yes it does happen often........... Having agreed with most of your comments about the attitude of some security staff, may I please put our point of view.
Even on this thread, we are mentioned as idiots, nobs, etc..... do you really suggest that we do not get open abuse regularly from staff (most of it from cabin crews) who continually moan and groan about their having to go through all these security checks.... Believe it or not, I go through exactly the same security checks with the same rules applied to me as is to you lads and lasses. Taking off my shoes annoys me greatly when I cause the overhead metal detector to activate (sometimes 10 times a day on a bad day). As was also mentioned on this thread previously, we have been operating under these rules and limits on liquids, gel sizes, etc for the best part of 2 years now..... Still (less and less frequently these days) but still mainly cabin crew, are taking things like "a bottle of vodka which was still in my case from the last trip" with them in their hand luggage and believe it or not generally cause a fuss when it is taken from them.
In actual fact folks, many of us actually agree that there should be a relaxation of the rules for cabin crews, but saying that, I return to the fact that the Dept for Transport set the rules and as you pass through all these security points we, the security staff and you the staff who pass through to go airside are so monitored on cameras by DFT and other monitoring bodies..... to that end, if you feel you have been abused, mistreated or generally insulted, I suggest you feel free to ask for the tapes to be replayed... this is done often for various reasons... you may be surprised by what you see concerning the actions of aircrews, security staff and other staff... there are good and bad in security and aircrew staff.
Sorry for rambling on, I just felt aggrieved enough to put my own point of view and indeed the views of the majority of my colleagues. Most of us are not idiots or morons just because we are employed on aviation security. We do actually try to give respect where due.

5th Aug 2008, 03:19
There are enough intelligent people who work security and are reasonable like i believe DaveyG. I can imagine that security staff do get abused on a regular basis, however some do completely and utterly deserve it. I'll give a few examples from an airport i used to work at as ground staff.

Firstly i tended to see that air crew were usually given more scrutiny than ground staff. Great for me as i was ground staff at the time. Also there were 2 staff entrances, one run by airport security and one run by a private security firm employed by the airport. I always chose to go for the airport security run one if i had time to do so as they were 100 times more professional.

when i went through the private firm run one, i saw a few things that digusted me at the time.

1) A member of the security staff brought through a can of redbull (250ml) to which the person running the scan 'confiscated it' saying ohh i'll have to take that off you that's more than 100 ml chortle chortle and put it on the desk by the x-ray machine. Then the security member who had the drink 'confiscated' from them sat by the x-ray machine to take up their duty and started to drink from the can of redbull that had been confiscated previously.

Similar things happened with coffees on a fairly regular basis.

Now i personally think the rules are stupid, by if they apply to me then they apply to everyone.

To the people who say proffesional pilots need to be able to deal with stress etc. i agree. However why intentionally annoy someone before they start work is beyond me.

I still want to know what the actual rules are. What can and can't a security person do to me. What are my rights. When can my pass be revoked??

Capt H Peacock
5th Aug 2008, 07:38

It is not disputed that the DfT make up the spurious diktats under which we suffer. It is the latitude given to local management to 'enhance' any measures they desire to make our lives incrementally more intolerable.

They are effectively unaccountable, and those who have patiently and politely engaged in negotiations with the DfT, have seen carefully and thoughtfully constructed progress simply binned by local commissars who seem to take great pleasure in placing their own Ďinterpretationí on any SDAMs to the frustration and anger of crews. For example crews have reported, LGW 100% shoe removal, GLA liquids bags, EDI foreign crews in tears as their cosmetics are confiscated in response to an instant and whimsical new rule, and cousin Nigel reports spurious BAA interpretations of DfT regulations to keep those nasty pilots out their shiny shops.

What we find exasperating is that other countries donít seem to share the view that the pilot is the problem. I can honestly say that of all the countries I visit around the world, Britain is the most unpleasant and intrusive airport environment for crews. One gets the constant impression that the government doesnít want you to be there, and it has reluctantly, and for today only, graciously allowing you to pass. By contrast other airports treat the crews separately, out of public view, are polite, and expeditious. Iím not going to name any, in case anyone inbound from those stations gets the third degree.

As the commander of the aeroplane, I am the ONLY officer who actually signs for the security of the aircraft, and that all the security legislation and procedures have been carried out correctly. All I ask is a little respect for that position, and a little recognition of my status.

Such an environment would unite us all as a team, and we could present a united front against the threat. At the moment it seems to me that from the top of the UK government to the functionary at the metal detector that we are the enemy, the object of envy, the obvious product of a privileged upbringing, and we need to be taken down several pegs to our rightful place.

Wrong or right? You tell me.

5th Aug 2008, 08:12
Davey G

One of the problems we encounter is a total lack of consistency in the UK. Each airport appears to have its own interpretation of DFT rules and to some extent it changes from shift to shift. The majority of the staff appear to have no understanding whatsoever about aeroplanes and the people who operate them - yes, they are only doing their job but with exceptions it often appears that the staff employed have been recruited en-masse from the local job- centre - thankfully others have been in position for much longer and as such as far more reasonable to deal with on a day to day basis. Those of us who are fortunate enough to travel abroad as a regular basis will testify that most countries have a far more enlightened and friendly attitude to crew security channels - the USA and Caribbean being notable exceptions.

5th Aug 2008, 09:21
I think Perhaps the Officer in question should have arrested the Security guard on theft charges. It seems quite obvious he(or she) had spotted the liquid and decided it would be worthwhile to hang on to. After all what other reason could they have for confiscating it???

A and C
5th Aug 2008, 12:04
Long before a lot of the people on this forum can remember a BEA Trident crashed shortly after leaving LHR, the result of the inquiry into the accident was the basis for a lot of the CRM training that we now regularly receive in the airline industry.

One of the key factors in this accident was that the aircraft captain had been involved in a very heated argument just before leaving the crew room and this was undoubtedly a factor in the chain of events that resulted in this accident.

This was a classic CRM situation and Chirp was set up (funded by the CAA) to highlight CRM issues and help prevent the CRM related accidents.

Disputes with the worst elements of security staff who seem to invent pointless rules and are using the little power they possess to its full extent are as best disruptive and can be very stressful when it is clear that his is all part of some sort of game for the amusement of the security staff.

It is clear that the knee jerk reaction from security to any dispute with them is the sanction of removing the individuals airside pass and along with the pressure from the company to get he job done on time.

On one hand the individual can be instantly out of work with no formal form of redress and on the other hand they are likely to have at the very least a "hats on" interview with the management. This is a classic case when confidential reporting is necessary.

What I can't understand is why the CAA repeatedly pretends that this problem with UK security is not a flight safety issue and continues to ignore the advice form a respected independent body that the CAA is its self funding?

I can only conclude that the CAA is failing in it's duty of care to the traveling public and to those of us that they have issued licences to by not being active in addressing this problem.

The only question that is as yet unanswered is what size disaster do we have to have before the CAA re-learns one of the lessons of the BEA Trident crash?

5th Aug 2008, 13:01
What I can't understand is why the CAA repeatedly pretends that this problem with UK security is not a flight safety issue

According to the CAA its because of "The reluctance of individuals to declare formally that their ability to operate has been impaired as a result of a security experience"

At least thats how I read CHIRP 87.

5th Aug 2008, 13:29
Never mind, when we've all gone through the seamless process of getting our National ID cards, all our problems will be solved, honestly...........:O

5th Aug 2008, 14:35
A & C

Well said, and all those on here that think we can always manage our stress levels, take note.

If anyone thinks it is fine to have cabin crew etc in tears before a flight is fine then shame on you.

I dearly hope these security issues do not lead to an accident of the magnitude of the Trident crash, but that is why CHIRP and other programs were set up to monitor and control these type of incidents. It is because the human stress response mechanism is rather complex and despite the individual believing that he/she is in control only to find out when a further incident occured that he/she was not. A recent incident where a pilot passed out for a few seconds after a series of stress making incidents, proves that as does the crash refered to above.

Let us not forget the lessons that we learned years ago.

5th Aug 2008, 18:11
According to the CAA its because of "The reluctance of individuals to declare formally that their ability to operate has been impaired as a result of a security experience"

By "formally" they presumably mean on-the-record with names attached and published, as opposed to through a third party who maintains confidentiality.

One would have thought that such reluctance to go on the record about the security setup woud in itself indicate a problem (ie. what would they be afraid of - harrassment from security?, ok, so why are flight crew afraid of harrassment from security...).

A and C
5th Aug 2008, 19:21
I refer you to the part of my post about the airport security management's ability to take away an airside pass without giving any reason.

I expect you could challenge that decision in court but would you still have a job by the time you won the case? (or more likely the security section submitted on the steps of the court).

Unlike the Police airport security make up the rules, judge the way they are enforced and have made sure that there is no robust system to deal with complaints.

The fact of the matter is that it is an industry riding the crest of a wave, large amounts of money are changing hands to provide a service that is carried out by the lowest paid in society, there is little wonder that they envy the other airport workers and sometimes act out of malice and spite.

It s hardly any wonder that the security management are ramping up the "security paranoia" and at the same time keeing a very low profile when it comes to the way they treat other airline staff.

5th Aug 2008, 19:50
Thanks for the interesting points of view.. I can only repeat that the majority of us do not treat the air crews as the enemy within...we seem to agree that air crews (and indeed ground staff) should have some relaxation of the rules applied after 2 years of this liquids, gels, 100ml maximum size container issue...As regards the "red bull" incident, may I just repeat that the camera is always there to be played back to support any case that may be instigated regarding theft.
It is obvious to us (and my own section do actually ask the pilots and aircrews) that different rules appear to apply to each UK airport.. as was mentioned, this can only be caused by the different managements at each location applying their own "little bit extra" on top of DFT rulings.
To ground staff who turn up at a particular airport each day for work, there would be every likelihood that they may not know that different security rules apply at each different airport. Aircrews obviously get around and to that end they will obviously feel more aggrieved that they are made to comply to one set of rules at LGW, another at LHR, MAN and so on.
I do have some knowledge of the airline industry as my son is now a RAF GR9 Harrier pilot just completing his 2nd Afghan tour.... to that end I have been "dragged" around airports and aircraft since he was in junior school so he could view the aircraft, etc... the pilots amongst you were probably exactly the same from a young age. Thank you for your time, perhaps one day sanity will again prevail as regards security measures and just as importantly, the attitudes between staff.

5th Aug 2008, 20:13
As a matter of interest, your station managers should have an up to date copy of what is allowed and what is not through the search area as dictated by DFT. You are allowed to view this.
If they do not have one then they should approach the Airport Security Manager and ask for one and to be put on the list for updates....
Hope that helps a little. Oh and yes, the list is the same for all airports.

Airbus Girl
5th Aug 2008, 21:41
I agree with much of what has been said so far. Its the way the rules differ everywhere you go that is the main annoying point.

Here is a positive and constructive suggestion.

The DfT (or whoever is responsible for airport security these days) should draw up a nice A4 booklet which lists the specific requirements for security checks. As in, what you can take, what you can't. What bags you can use, what you can't. Whether you should have to take your shoes and belt off every time. Or not. This document should be distributed to all CAA professional licence holders and cabin crew (or airport ID holders) and also to every UK airport authority, where it should be available at every security point as the National Airport Security Guidelines for Crew Security Checks. This way, everyone knows the rules, they are used in the same way at every UK airport and anyone (security or crew) trying to get round the rules can see what the rules are in black and white.

I agree that it is stressful and time consuming to go through security these days, particularly if away for a few days and taking hand luggage through security with you. It seems that if you have your little plastic bag correct then your suitcase won't get searched, so you put whatever else you like in there :E Of course, that would be completely against all security requirements and I would never flout the rules in that way.

Also, for pilots, come on guys, there is a time in every flight where there is only one pilot on the flight deck, we all know it ain't difficult to fly the thing into the ground if you really wanted to - you wouldn't need the help of an extra 50ml of toothpaste.....

The most ridiculous thing of this whole scenario is that down route you don't get anything like the same check. So you arrive, leave the aircraft, pop into the terminal, buy whatever you like, return to your aircraft with oooh, maybe 200ml of toothpaste (whatever next!!!). And no one knows or cares.

In Greece for example, it is possible to go through security with barely a glance, carrying whatever you like (and yes, this is wrong too). This does make crew a bit weary when it comes to dealing with UK security.

Bruce Wayne
6th Aug 2008, 00:39
I think Perhaps the Officer in question should have arrested the Security guard on theft charges. It seems quite obvious he(or she) had spotted the liquid and decided it would be worthwhile to hang on to. After all what other reason could they have for confiscating it???

I actually had a mini-mag light, of all things, removed from my flight case by security on the grounds that it could be used as a potential weapon, or go to the desk and send it through as checked luggage.

in the airside outlets, they were available for purchase!

6th Aug 2008, 02:02
Cancel the flight due to lack of safety equipment quote the applicable air navigation order

6th Aug 2008, 12:43
There's no security, only a perception that there is one!
The more staff, pilots and workers THEY pi$$ off, the more it SEEMS there is security being dished out.
The security "guards" can't see in a person's head, that's where terrorism is!
Come on ICTS, we've all seen the TV programme, you are a disgusting/bad lot!
Forget it.

moist :ugh: :{ :ugh:

6th Aug 2008, 14:30
I believe that Chirp started with the best of intentions but now it it is suffering a slow death as confidence erodes with each issue and susequent comical resolutions to the problems posed.

C - Completely
H - Hopeless
I - In
R - Resolving
P - Problems

A and C
6th Aug 2008, 15:41
Hardly a constructive contribution to the debate to slag off the one part of the avitation establishment that is trying to do something about this problem.

Please come back when you have a better idea. Have you done anything constructive about this like Write to your MP or get the union working for you?

Bomber Harris
7th Aug 2008, 02:35
DaveyG....you said may I please justify what we do with the simple words..."We operate in the UK under the rules that the Dept for Transport set out". in a previous post;

then you went on to say It is obvious to us (and my own section do actually ask the pilots and aircrews) that different rules appear to apply to each UK airport.. as was mentioned, this can only be caused by the different managements at each location applying their own "little bit extra" on top of DFT rulings.

I think you are missing the fundemental problem this contradiction causes.

Crews are frustrated, annoyed (and even driven to calling security people "nobs") because of the massive inconsistancies. We are constantly told "oh thats the dft rules, mate...." but yet we know that the particular rule doesn't exist at another airport. Basically the system is being administered very very badly. It is causing frustration for crews and they can clearly see there is no added security value to it. Let me give you some examples

1. you said everyone is security checked. WRONG. armed police officers walk through at a certain uk airport. they do not disarm. they set off the scanner. they do not take their hat off. they go airside.

2. engineers bring through every imaginable cutting and slicing tool. also, i can walk into our engineering office and get any of these tools. i cannot bring a kitchen knife through. neither can an engineer!

3. a refueller (truck driver) cannot bring a can of coke through security. this is presumably because a coke can is more than 100ml and of course it may be explosive. after having his coke confiscated he gets back into the truck with 80 tons of explosive jet fuel and goes airside (with his 20 marlboro and a LIGHTER on the dashboard)

4. while the pilot is having his 10ml of water confiscated because it's in a bottle that is 250ml in size; the next person through security is an 18 year old contractor from a temp agency, who has got a job stocking shelves in Boots, and he's loading cases of 1L bottles of evian onto the scanner.....which the pilot can now go to boots and buy.

DaveG...you contribution is welcome and honorable. But I think you are missing the fundemental flaws in the system.

Well done to the person who said that using stress/flight safety as a reson to change security procedures is the wrong way to go. It really will distract from the core issue. Which is
1/security procedures are not effective. there are too many massive loopholes, and unessecery energy is being spent on confiscating toothpaste from cabin crew
2/some security staff are rude to airline staff, however, there is no quality procedures in place to monitor their performance (only a reactionary system when there is a complaint)

thx if your still reading....phew!

A and C
7th Aug 2008, 11:48
A lot of very interesting points all well made however stress is one of the reasons that the improvements that you suggest should be implemented.

At the moment "security" is a big thing and the government is seeking all sorts of new powers to deal with the situation , unfortunately most of these are about as well drafted as the Dangerous Dogs Act. It is time that the security procedures were formalised and a robust national standard was set, we can no longer has individual airports making up local rules. This would change would remove 99% of the stress from flight crews as they would know the rules as they would be the same country wide.

The reason that a lot of the problems go unresolved is that there is no robust and independent system for resolving problems (the security industry sees this as an aditional cost). If an independent body existed then airport employees would not have to turn to CHRIP to seek some sort of redress.
It is quite clear that complaint to "security" is likely to result in the removal of the airside pass if not over the actual incident they are likely to "mark your card" and cook something up in the future. (this is not the policy of security management but the thinking of the small minded at the sharp end and the likely outcome of a security dispute).

So the bottom line is that a senior airline captain as the result of a minor dispute can have his airside pass and therefore his job taken away by the actions of a bottom grade security operative without any reference to a complaints procedure short of taking the airport authority to court.

Under these circumstances is it not surprising that people are stressed each time some people are checked by security after all an item that they are carrying my well not be banned at there base airport and the resulting dispute may cost them the job.

In my opinion by not taking action to deal with the stresses highlighted in the CHIRP reports the CAA is guilty of gross neglect of its duty of care to the traveling public and the people that it issues licences to. I wonder if the "Flying Lawyer" might like to comment on the validity of my opinion and if the airport workers unions could take a joint action to force the CAA to take a more active role in this area of standardisation of security controls with the aim of reducing the stress levels at work an most important improving flight safety.

I have to return to my first post on this thread and draw your attention to that part that stress played in the BEA Trident accident, the responsibility for reducing a well documented source of stress on crews should fall at the feet of the CAA, a responsibility that they don't seem capable of taking.

CarltonBrowne the FO
7th Aug 2008, 12:44
On a brighter note, I know of several pilots who have had recent arguments with security staff. None have had their passes removed. In at least one case, the security staff management reviewed the incident and sacked the security staff member involved. Keep cool and the system will work... probably!
A few weeks ago I packed a carryon for a trip, instead of the usual hold bag. Stupidly I just transferred everything over, and forgot a 200ml bottle of sunscreen was in the pile with everything else.
When it was picked up at security, I apologised and handed it over for confiscation- only to have it returned, and the security staff arrange for it to be put into hold baggage for me! Quite correctly, they insisted the bottle could not travel in the cabin; however, they could not have been more pleasant about it. Thanks guys!

7th Aug 2008, 13:25
I ALWAYS take my drinks, shampoo, deo etc. with me in and have never been asked to remove them, not at any continental airport.
Only in the UK do they not follow common sense.

7th Aug 2008, 14:28
Apologies if it has been raised before:

Years gone by I used to carry a letterman or large Swiss penknife in my flight bag. I could take many things apart; not always put them back together again. However, en-route or on the ground in some out of the way place I have been able to effect repairs to simple things. No longer possible. But then I saw an engineer in the flight deck with a letterman. He told me he was allowed by security to bring it through as it was part of his necessary tool kit to do his job. I tried this argument at security and 'the jobs worth' said no way. Who's he to say what is necessary for me to do my job or not?

Bruce Wayne
7th Aug 2008, 15:30
rigpig: Cancel the flight due to lack of safety equipment quote the applicable air navigation order

Hah! i like your thinking :ok:

the thing was he clearly wanted to have it but could be bothered to pay for one himself. as soon as my bag was opened and he clapped his eyes on it my fellow crew member said in my ear "that's gone"..

the result was i did a 180, went out side and cracked it on the kerbside, went back and handed it to him.. he was a little disappointed.

the point is, and i think we are all making the same point here, there is no ryhme or reason to the vagaries of what is and what isnt acceptable.

the claims of safety etc are frankly B/S.. there is enough available in airside shoppng to creat a whole host of impliments.

The Eithiopian Airlines 757 that went in off the comoros islands was hijacked by two parties who used a broken bottle of JD, purchased from Duty Free.

8th Aug 2008, 15:51
A and C . Are you still getting the old turnips tickled on a regular basis?
You used to enjoy it at Stansted.:ok:
I thought youd had the knacker reduction op on the new private health contract.
I bet you wont mind them getting a fondle in Phuket:ooh:

Tout alors, mange tout , viva l'airboos.

8th Aug 2008, 22:40
I stand to be corrected here, but on re-reading CHIRP Issue 87 and then re-reading a number of items on this thread, some things do not tie up. Engineer CHIRP Reports 12 months to June 2008 equal first with Maintenance CHIRP Issues received were 10 Security Issues. Flight Deck Crew Reports received for the same period had 61 Security Issues, 2nd only to Duty.
So we have a combined total of 71 Security Issues for the 12 months from June 2007. None from ATC, interesting that ATC are not uniformed. Is there a connection?
The CAA has encouraged us to use CHIRP. The chap who deals with the Engineering Issues has always said that he wanted more input from the Engineers. Now, he is getting it, in all areas as well as Security. There has not been an issue with Flight Deck Crews raising CHIRP as doing so is a more culturally accepted thing to do.
What concerns me is that now the issue of security has been identified and CHIRP acknowledges this, why in the heck aren't they now going to do something with the information they have?
There is more at stake here than having a neanderthal fondle you, or will the CAA/CHIRP etc not take the required steps until an incident occurs where Security is identified as a contributory factor.
I would suggest that this is an ideal opportunity for CHIRP/CAA to be seen to be addressing what is in essence a very serious problem. I would aslo suggest that unless CHIRP/CAA are seen to act here, the credibility of said organisations may suffer as a result of their innactivity and willingness to support the 71 people who have submitted CHIRP on Security in the last 12 months.
OK if the CAA wants MOR whenever a Security Issue arises, I have no issues whatsoever in submitting one. I would suggest that as the CAA has marked their stalll as to what they want to see before they consider taking action, then raising MOR is what should be done. My concern is that I do not have the faith as yet that when the CAA do receive MOR related to Security Issues, they will yet gain try to wriggle of the hook as they have done with their response in CHIRP 87.
We have very few areas where we can go for help. support and guidance and it would appear that when we do provide the information, the people who should be doing something about it have developed sloping shoulders.

Shame on you and I hope that you never have to rue the day that you took the course of action that you have adopted on this subject.

Gets of soap box and vanishes into obscurity in the crowd


8th Aug 2008, 23:27
One major lesson I learnt when I left UK shores over 30 years ago is that authority generally does what it is told to do.

I have since travelled personally at least 0.5M miles with many many airport checks.

The most agressive comment I think I ever had was "you have an Iraqi visa, you may wish to ask for a new passport". That was in Germany. I since used the same passport for 7 years including 2 trips to Israel.

Lost man standing
9th Aug 2008, 01:05

Unfortunately it is not the actual threat of removal of passes, but the perception of the crew that this might happen, or that security might be even more aggressive (at the time or in future) if we say anything that causes stress. I have had security at one UK airport become more aggressive as I questioned that they would not allow me to take something not on their banned list (handling agent only handed it straight to me airside anyway).

Sorry to return to some early themes, but I'm late to the thread and I think these points have been missed.

First P. Pilcher

Could your daughter not have handed over the perfume then arrested the security guard for theft?

The security guard has no right to confiscate liquids correctly held in containers smaller than 100 ml. He has taken it with intent permanently to deprive your daughter of her property. That is theft.


I don't know which airport you go through, but I can tell it's only the one. I regularly visit many airports and I can state categorically that "[The Rules] may be fair or not but they are blanket rules" is complete and utter nonsense. See P.Pilcher's experience.

The rules are applied with more sanity and more evenly in most of Europe than they are in Britain. Having just had my security refresher I learn that this is because it is only in Britain that they are administered by contractors on minimum wage. Incidentally my instructor for that refresher, a professional who advises airports on security, was highly critical of the way the rules are implemented in the UK, and of the CAA in reference to the CHIRP articles.

In Britain the security varies immensely. There are no blanket rules, at least in practice. I have been refused permission to carry items not on the disallowed list right in front of us. I have been told I couldn't take a flask, until the handler told security it was for the passengers, when it was suddenly OK. I have had water confiscated before a 3-hour plus flight, leaving me with nothing to drink. I have had a security woman tell me I didn't need a leatherman because I wasn't an engineer. Some places I can walk right on with the catering, other places it goes over a conveyor belt and is just given back to me airside. Other places it has to be delivered to the aircraft. Some places have a separate crew channel, others I go through a passenger scrum. Some places I can be airside alone, some places only with the handling agent. Some places my passengers must have boarding cards, some places handling agents can take them through, other places I can take them through security.

Blanket rules they are not.

Have you actually read the reports in CHIRP? I think the reports are far worse than you imagine. Many people are being bullied by little men given power. Several people have been sexually assaulted, one retiring early solely due to such an attack. If that happens to me my flight ain't going anywhere, because I am calling the police and pressing charges.

In the end that is all that can be done because there is no coherent feedback system. There is no way to complain and get any response other than further hassle in the future, as these people continue to abuse their power. That is not only damaging to flight safety it is damaging to security, so even on your criteria it must be addressed.

9th Aug 2008, 08:41
Have any airlines altered crew report times to reflect the time consuming extra hassles associated with donning and doffing of shoes, removing and repacking of lap tops, mobile phones etc etc?

If not, then reduced time available at the aircraft for pre flight checks could well be called detrimental to flight safety or cause significant delays to departures - imho.

Sir George Cayley
9th Aug 2008, 16:19
A glimmer of hope?

Just read that the new Head of the CAA is a Pilot !!! Hooray :ok:

Capt D Chapman the DfT newsdesk says. Sounds like he could be the chap to bring sanity back to the UK.

Only problem is he doesn't take up his post until nearly the end of the year by which time it may have been too late.:(

We can but hope.

Sir George Cayley

9th Aug 2008, 16:28
The thing that makes me laugh about airport security (certainly at Birmingham where I fly from) is who more closely resembles the profile of the terrorists? me, middle class privately educated white boy, or 'them' (nicknamed The Gestapo) Asian poorly educated, can barely speak English and have to pray 5 times a day? Call me racist, and see if I care.

9th Aug 2008, 16:59
The security guard has no right to confiscate liquids correctly held in containers smaller than 100 ml. He has taken it with intent permanently to deprive your daughter of her property. That is theft.

Almost correct. In fact they have no powers to confiscate anything whether it is above or below 100ml. They can only stop you going into the restricted zone with the prohibited items. They are ordinary citizens. They have no special powers or authority. If they take something from you against your will it is theft.

9th Aug 2008, 17:32
Just a thought but given that we (the crew) have big problems with security (I never knew how dangerous a pilot's belt could be - I could have hijacked my own aircraft with one! etc etc etc), the stress of passing through security many times and the inconsistencies even in the same airport and even by the same security people etc etc

However my cabin crew are also noticing that they're starting to take abuse from the SLF because the amount of stress that they're put under by security too. I know that service is decreasing and some SLF one or two a flight but it is a minority - most are reasonably well behaved but they are also being affected by airport securities madness.

Just saying, anything that reduced the stress for my crew and that means reducing stress for the SLF too is a good thing; and also for our profits and jobs! So don't forget that the SLF get it just as bad...

E145 driver

10th Aug 2008, 01:55
firestorm - with you all the 'racist' way. Interesting that the country that endures successfully, probably the largest continuous terrorist threat, is Israel. Guess what? - they use the profiling technique!!!! We can't do that in blighty because it's a breach of human rights and we must pander at all times to the PC brigade eh?

Genghis the Engineer
10th Aug 2008, 12:05
There's clearly a lot of absurdity going on out there.

I manage a team of scientists who have to regularly work on board large aircraft as part of their work. Normal practice is to search them, then have their assorted (and occasionally sharp or heavy) tools re-issued once they're back on board the aeroplane. It's a nuisance, but sort of works and could readily be applied to commercial flight crew.

On the other hand, a little while ago I had to divert an open cockpit light aeroplane into a big airport - I was wearing an old military flying suit with a large safety knife strapped to my leg. I stopped overnight near the airport then had to go through security on the way back in to fly home in the morning. The knife was casually inspected and allowed through as aircrew equipment, whilst my mobile phone was x-rayed and my transparent map case disassembled. All rather odd and inconsistent.

Frankly, if they'd chosen to take that knife from me, they'd have been well within their rights and apart from trying hard to make arrangements for its eventual return to me, I'd not have put up any fight. On the other hand, exactly what threat was my thin and transparent map case? All very friendly and I was put to no real inconvenience but it's rather absurd.

A couple of other thoughts

(1) Is it not the case that automatic access to an aeroplane by a police offer must be when they are in uniform, and it doesn't apply to somebody in plainclothes?

(2) There's no point in asking Flying Lawyer questions any more. He's now technically "Flying Judge" and not allowed to give any specific legal advice. (He is still around and a very helpful chap, just not allowed to give advice.)


10th Aug 2008, 13:06
Why are crews searched at all?
We all know that a pilot has some tools just next to him in the cockpit to open oil filler caps or so and finally, a pilot has full control of an aircraft at all times, so no tools (weapons) needed at all.

The only thing that the security people do not know is, if the pilot or crew is really the pilot or crew she/he pretends to be.

So, why not give out proper crew ID cards from the authorities, that are valid for all airports and include a specific identifier that cannot be falsified?
Any other (better) way would also do, verify the pilot or crew is who she/he pretends to be and make sure the person is not a fake pilot or crew.

IMHO it would be a good way to go and introduce a Europe wide crew ID, pilots licence or whatsoever that without doubt identifies the crewmember as a true crewmember: Show your crew ID, make sure you are who you pretend to be (ex. give an electronic fingerprint), no further need for security checks on that person, open the doors, work.
No more need for an airport ID at any airport for crews, it's included in your crewmember ID.

A challange? Maybe... Let's talk to our unions and ask them to talk in our name to the politics. Rules can be changed to better rules!

10th Aug 2008, 13:38
Just out of interest, if one was to freeze a liquid, would that still be in violation of the security edict?

Also, i'm surprised the press haven't picked up on this - the words "hazard to flight safety" are being banded around and not a peep, I expected Dispatches to be on it like a dog on a bone!


10th Aug 2008, 15:51
Now here's a thought. My colleagues do literally hunderds of 'flying spanner' duties per year to destinations any where in the world. They need to take tools with them. Problem? due to the new regulations the tools can only be hold loaded as baggage. All very well until you get to the destination and then you have to wait landside for the bagagge and then you have to find a way to get the tools airside again.
Now factor in potential delays, commercial pressure, stress as a result of this and the 'holes in the cheese' are starting to line up very nicely.
Yes, we are looking at ways to deal with the situation with our sister company by carrying flight spares/toolkits, but we are a third party maintenance organsiation and have many other customers.
We are now even having full cans of engine and hydraulic oil held in the vans used to support aircraft confiscated at security points which means that every time one of our vans goes landside all aerosol sprays, oils, grease and other fluids stored in the vans as self contained support vehicles have to be emptied out and then restocked when they return airside.
Strange thing is that at least one a week, I see a Coca Cola truck stacked with soft drinks,airside replenishing vending machines. Consistency? I think not.


10th Aug 2008, 16:27
Just out of interest, if one was to freeze a liquid, would that still be in violation of the security edict?

I think that one's been tried, and it didn't work. If you're just after water, take an empty bottle in your carry-on and fill it at an airside water fountain. Anything else is more problematic.

11th Aug 2008, 04:17
A few years ago I had a multi tool confiscated at Brussels. I'd forgotten it was in my hand baggage- got it back when I returned there the next week. A couple of years later I was going thru Geneva airport and found they sold Leathermans, Swiss army knives in duty free. When I asked was told it complied with FAA regs - blade less than 4 inch long. This was pre 9-11 but I believe the same items are still for sale at Geneva.

11th Aug 2008, 06:02
AAA737300BF wrote

Show your crew ID, make sure you are who you pretend to be (ex. give an electronic fingerprint), no further need for security checks on that person, open the doors, work.A good idea.

But, think of it from the airports perspective (over my part of the world the airport is responsible for screening). Flightcrew make up at a guess 1% of the aircraft "passengers". It's a lot cheaper just to dump this 1% in with the other 99% than have a separate screening process. If you want it to happen you need to show some cost benefit, or it needs to be mandated by govt. or whoever the authority is.

I work at an international terminal (as a security officer), most of the crew I deal with are foreign. Are you suggesting a worldwide database of pilots. I can't see that being easily implemented. While I'm sure most flight crew pose no security risk at all, if you were currently parked between a Georgian and a Russian flight that were using the same departure lounge would you feel more comfortable knowing that the crews were screened. OK maybe a bit far fetched, but I'm surprised there isn't more industrial sabotage in the airline business.

Bruce Wayne
11th Aug 2008, 11:02
Tempsford, that reminds me of situation we had to deal with.

Sending a crew and spanner monkey (sorry engineers!) to an aircraft with a tech problem. the engineer wasnt allowed to take his tooling as carry on, due to the "security risk" so checked it to save aggro and get the job done.
Of course the equipment didnt make the flightand was due to be sent on the next scheduled service out. which didnt make it either. the crew and engineer had to sit for 3 days which defeated the object of sending the crew and engineer out to ferry the aircraft back.

11th Aug 2008, 18:44
Oh wise one that wears his shreddies outside his tights.

I am sure that I speak for the majority of the UK Aircraft Maintenance Engineers when we say that we look forward to supporting your next AOG. :ok:

12th Aug 2008, 18:38

The thing that makes me laugh about airport security (certainly at Birmingham where I fly from) is who more closely resembles the profile of the terrorists? me, middle class privately educated white boy, or 'them' (nicknamed The Gestapo) Asian poorly educated, can barely speak English and have to pray 5 times a day? Call me racist, and see if I care.

Absolutely spot on! I was THINKING this, but didn't think I'd get away with writing it on PPRUNE. You did, there's some chance for us still.
Us the professionals, the airline pilots, the crews - not the TERRORISTS as we are being viewed every day by those earthbound misfits, mistakenly called security.
Security my a*se! As I wrote before, we've all seen the programme on ICTS on telly, what a dirty/corrupt, drug ridden bunch! Yuck := := :=

ivor toolbox
12th Aug 2008, 18:53
We are now even having full cans of engine and hydraulic oil held in the vans used to support aircraft confiscated at security points

We had that at a certain south-west airport,(stores accomodation was 'landside') but a letter from the 'boss' saying it was essential for aircraft maintenance duties, and quoting the same reference as crew are allowed from D of T did the trick.


12th Aug 2008, 19:56
Genghis the Engineer

"(1) Is it not the case that automatic access to an aeroplane by a police offer must be when they are in uniform, and it doesn't apply to somebody in plainclothes?"

No. And it's not a right of entry to aircraft, that's more complicated, and dependent on country of registration, and what statute they are acting under.

As far as entry to airports is concerned, the right is for a designated Constable. I can't speak for all forces, just the Met Police, who are all designated constables. The power is regardless of uniform state.

However, the agreement between the BAA and Heathrow Police was (and I can't say if it still is) that only Heathrow Officers and SB are admitted to the Restricted Area. All others are only allowed in in the same way as a passenger, ie they are flying. If they need to speak to someone airside, then they go in with an Heathrow officer, and last time I took one in, which was a long time ago now, he was searched. The same applies to officers flying on duty, they are searched, except for armed protection officers.

The incident mentioned earlier, is without doubt abuse of the officers authority. If it happened, I'm suprised the local police didn't get called. It happened at LHR years ago, the officer concerned lost his job.

Bruce Wayne
12th Aug 2008, 22:47

Oh wise one that wears his shreddies outside his tights.

I am sure that I speak for the majority of the UK Aircraft Maintenance Engineers when we say that we look forward to supporting your next AOG. :ok:

the downside to a 3 day break on the clock, plus expenses is that it usually happens in some bumf$%k part of the globe where the only action is the airport hotel and the chick who works the late shift at the bar has a 'tache !!

13th Aug 2008, 07:39
Tut tut Firstorm and Moist. Bad mistake. Thought the moderators would have had more sense than to let these posts through the net.

13th Aug 2008, 15:35
Maybe they've got more sense than to stifle a refreshingly reasonable (though admittedly not very PC) comment.

13th Aug 2008, 15:39

You have clearly not seen the TV programme about ICTS, which is exactly why the Mods must have left the posting alone! Go and have a look for yourself.
Love your name though Noodnik - meaning Nagger!!! I should know, I lived There.

13th Aug 2008, 19:26
Love your name too moist. Is that because your a fanny

Mick Stability
15th Aug 2008, 08:15
Made [The Daily Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2552543/Black-air-passenger-awarded-4000-after-being-stopped-three-times-before-flight.html) yesterday:

Black air passenger awarded £4,000 after being stopped three times before flight:

. . Cedric Stewart, 45, said he was "humiliated' by airport workers who unpacked his bags in front of dozens of other passengers

. . Mr Stewart launched legal action against security firm International Consultants on Targeted Security, which is hired by Continental to vet passengers, and has now received an out-of-court settlement.

. . "I was treated like a common criminal for absolutely no reason at all."

. . after checking in he was pulled aside again and had his hand luggage emptied on a table and searched.

. . "I hope my experiences encourage people to take a stand against prejudice."

. . An ICTS spokesman strongly denied racism but said the company would not comment due to security considerations . .

Some here have been accused of racism for even suggesting that profiling by nationality is tantamount to being a Nazi.

However yesterday (14 Aug) in the House of Lords, while debating the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, the Attorney General Lord Falconer of Thoroton argued that 42 day detention was necessary, amongst other things, to pursue terrorist suspects with links to Pakistan.

Any of the PC brigade care to take on his Lordship? Can we now have profiling and targeted intelligence so that the rest of us can get on with our lives with dignity and freedom?