View Full Version : Poor Security - I Wonder Why !!

18th Jan 2002, 02:23
We all talk about how we can improve security in aviation, well listen here..........

I went for an interview with a security company based at Heathrow. Just before the interview started, but in the interview room, the interviewer said to me "I think before we start I had better tell you about the pay and conditions, as you look like the kind of person that would not be interested after I tell you." Well, I went for this interview all dressed up and keen, as I have been out of work for a while, but when she told me, I couldn't help but laugh. She continued to tell me the pay and conditions....
.... 4.25 during the 3 weeks training and for the first 6 months, rising to a maximum of 5 after 1 year, inclusive of shift allowance!
I had to pay for car parking - 38 per month and if I left within the year I would have to repay the cost of training - 500! The shifts are variable covering a 24 hr period. She then handed me the paperwork and told me, go home and think about it but I don't expect to hear from you!
All in a very joking manner!

Now I am not a snob, I needed a job! But what kind of security personnel are they going to get on those terms?
I was gobsmacked!
I didnt take the job by the way.

I thought I might share this with everyone, sorry if I have bored or offended you.

152 <img src="eek.gif" border="0">

18th Jan 2002, 06:34
Immigrants from poor third world countries!

Lou Scannon
18th Jan 2002, 18:11
Thanks for the information 152.In a strange way it might increase the respect us pilots have for security staff.

Anyone who is prepared to work for that rate and give the first ten hours for free, just to get parking, must be keen. They are certainly well ahead of the people who prefer to sit at home on benefits.

It would be nice to think that it can lead to something better for them.

18th Jan 2002, 18:17

not sure i share your positive vibes.

the only people i can think of who would work for free for 10 hours at airport security at the worlds busiest int airport are either in cuba, being sent to cuba or being chased by the leicstershire constabulary!

keep taking the pills.

18th Jan 2002, 18:49
In this world you get what you pay for. If we want acceptable standards of safety and security we are going to have to employ experienced, well trained and professional security personnel, who work to clear security protocols agreed by the airports, airlines and authorities. I think this is the way the USA is going with airline security staff coming under the federal umbrella. Aviation security is getting a tough ride on many pprune threads at the moment and maybe this posting explains why. Unfortunately free-market capitalism does not have an answer for everything and when it comes to safety and security the regulators often have to step in and enforce the standards. Instead of allowing private companies to run inadequate security programmes on shoestring budgets with demeaning pay rates maybe we are all going to have to bite the bullet and pay the going rate for properly qualified, intelligent, courteous, thorough and professional security staff at airports?

Can anybody remember what the question was?

18th Jan 2002, 20:34
My wife and I recently flew out of a large international airport - clue, it was near Hounslow. We noticed as our hand baggage was being x-rayed that those operating the machine were engaged in friendly banter and not looking at the screen. Someone please tell me that this was perfectly OK and that the machine would have hollered if there had been something dodgy in a bag. Otherwise I'm left with the conclusion that we get what we pay for - and they deserve MUCH more if our lives are in their hands.

18th Jan 2002, 21:21

Manchester Airport have obviously not learnt any lessons from 11 September.
Aviation Security in the U.S. was abysmal as stated in various official U.S.'s General Accounting Office Reports, this was caused by airlines and airports employing the lowest bidder to carry out the security work. These were companies such as ICTS, Huntleigh and Argenbright (owned by Securicor ADI who also operate at Manchester Airport). Argenbright were fined in the U.S. for employing staff with criminal records and only recently told to leave Boston Airport after more security failures. These companies employ people on low wages in the U.K. and U.S. (average $15000 p.a.in the U.S.).

In the U.S they were not trained properly and 90% of the workers had less than 6 months experience and because the wages were so low the average turnover of staff was 126%, at one airport it was 416%.

Since 11 September the U.S. Government have made real progress and have decided to Federalise Aviation Security. They have realised that private security firms cannot be trusted to do the job properly.

The 28,000 employees required, will be well educated, must pass a selection test, must be an American Citizen and will be paid between $30,000 - $35,000 p.a. (21,400 - 25,000 p.a.) This salary is required to retain staff, because in this business experience is vital.

Manchester Airport on the other hand is going in the opposite direction.

Cutting wages from an average of 22,000 to 12,600 p.a.
Cutting 200 staff by way of voluntary early retirement.
Replacing these people with new recruits (on low wages), who the majority will have no Aviation Security experience at all.
These people will be working on British Airways Terminal 3.
Working a 42 hour week instead of 38.
4 days less leave per year.
Single time for overtime worked.
Workings shifts 4.00am, 5.00am starts, nights and working nearly every weekend of the year, Christmas and New Year.
The Airport have scrapped the Selection Test (Involving Maths, English, Observation, and various spatial tests) and replaced it with several question at the interview stage.
Cutting sick entitlement from 6 months full pay to 3 months full pay.

All this because we have to compete with the lowest bidder just like it was in the U.S. !!

Manchester Airport introduced so called Market Related Pay (MRP) 3 years ago for new recruits in Security, they are currently on 13,999 p.a. and are leaving the company at a very high rate because they can find better paid work with more sociable hours and better career prospects elsewhere.

In June this year it was discovered that Geoff Muirhead (CEO) gave himself a nice 90,000 pay rise and all the other directors and top managers had substantial rises too.

these cuts by Manchester Airport will compromise security at the airport and put the flying public at risk.

Eventually all the experience staff will leave and you will be left with the low earners who only last a few months before leaving and finding better paid jobs elsewhere.

So Mr Teale remember 11 sept 2001 obviously not !!

"Pay Peanuts get monkeys"

Don't worry everyboby Mr Teale says it won't compromise security, get in the real world now Teale !!

Security manager John Donnison has found it difficult to recruit staff to work on BA T3 and in his desperation he has allegedly,

Recruited temporary staff from last summer who

1 failed their assessment
2 one found to be drunk on duty
3 one sacked for not disclosing certain information on his application form

This is the new low wage (11,500) professional security workforce at Manchester Airport



18th Jan 2002, 21:30
Heathrow Director said:

"as our hand baggage was being x-rayed that those operating the machine were engaged in friendly banter and not looking at the screen."

and per the recent incident, if you complained about the security ppl not looking at the screen - you get arrested!

King Chile
18th Jan 2002, 23:48
One would have thought that, under the CAA drive regarding a 'total safety culture', and if 'safety systems' do indeed reach right to the top, both the troops involved and their managers would all be taking it a bit more seriously (rather than finding way to cut costs).

You see, if it could be proved that due to a lack of diligence an incident occurred, then one might assume all involved should face the consequences in that - much like being tired, then driving down a railway embankment, and causing an accident which subsequently maims & kills people - maybe the threat of custodial sentence would help focus attention to the task in hand.

Wot No Engines
19th Jan 2002, 13:02
Recently went through T3 - What security ??? Bags were placed on the scanner, but no one was even at the screen to watch.

I am also aware of someone who took a sailing knife on to a flight recently - they had forgotten it was in a jacket pocket. It failed to trigger the metal detector even though it had a 5" stainless steel blade - was it switched on ?

20th Jan 2002, 00:05
Sir Airbuddie:
Yes, everyone has learned something new from Sep 11th regarding airline security and safety, irrespective of airport screeners' diligence.
The most important issue is that ordinary passengers will no longer sit idle if there is any inflight commotion. People fear for their lives and safety, and as had already been demonstrated with the "shoe bomber," passengers will tackle any unruly person or mentally deranged person who infringes upon the safety of flight. Nothing will ever be fullproof and bulletproof, but aviation security awareness and passenger "mind-set" has reached a higher level. <img src="eek.gif" border="0">

Sven Sixtoo
20th Jan 2002, 02:05

Respect for your approach to all this. I wish you had been able to take the job - we need honest thinking people there. But I understand the money issue.

brain fade
20th Jan 2002, 06:39
you seem like a thoughtful and caring person. Taking the trouble to post on pprune for the benefit of an industry you are outside of is surely altruistic. I wish you luck and am sure that you will do far better than working for airport security!
<img src="smile.gif" border="0">
Thankyou for your very relevant comment.

21st Jan 2002, 00:59
"Atruistic behaviour" ..... a type of behaviour in which an organism benefits another member of its species, without concern for its own welfare and often to its own detriment.
well I popped into "the last airport" on the way from Europe to BOS this morning and found every "Airport police officer" in the place, out on strike!

we really don't live in the perfect world!

21st Jan 2002, 01:26
It's about time large companies (man plc) started to realise that they exist because the 'local' comunity take jobs at the airport.
Manchester airport as far as i can see is the most complained about in the land on this site.Aircraft are merely a complication !
Taxi ways that are impposible to follow, stands with grotty little painted numbers 50yds away to park with (if the strip lights are switched on),the shambles going on in terminal one with inbound/outbound passengers.
Its a bit rich for Mr.G to award himself a 90k rise (4 extra security people on decent money).
'The world's best airport' - it certainly aint, or even close

21st Jan 2002, 15:23
152 The company you went to for an interview may have been either ADI or ICTS. They only deal with contract security at LHR. eg hold baggage screening, valuable items etc. Therefor their salaries are not so good compared to BAA.

However if you want to work for BAA then drop me an e mail at [email protected] and I will pass you some info.. .BAA pay very well compared to other companies.. .you start on around 18k a year rising to 21k after 3 years. Of course with over time you could earn around 22k in first year and later on you could push this figure with OT to around 26k. You also have options to buy company shares at 25% discount.. .Mind you there are the old guys who earn 37k a year. Dont ask me how.. .You also have better career prospects at BAA, you may move into other sections within the company.

21st Jan 2002, 17:26

Manchester Airport Strike Ballot results

83% YES. .17% NO

MAPlc Staff have had enough of this money grabbing 'FAT CAT',bullying and intimidating management.

22nd Jan 2002, 17:23
152, your honesty prompted me to write this.

I was on the final stages of my PPL, when I was working offshore doing a 3 week on and 3 week off rota. When I opted to work in Airport Security.

I was spending my money on flying, bills kids family etc. My other half was getting tired of me being away all the time so I decided to work in a security department SIMPLY because I could then join their club and fly for a much discounted price.

The people in security were dedicated, thoughtful and honest. The only drawback was the the low salary which even their workforce thought poor.

After qualifying, I left because I could not live on such a low wage. I did try - honest.

When security is bad - everyone suffers. When security do their job properly, someyimes in arduous and difficult circumstances - no one gets to see the benefits as they certainly do not get paid a decent wage.

This is my tuppence worth - sorry to have bored you all!!

Pilot Pete
24th Jan 2002, 02:56
From Manchester News Online

<a href="http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/content.cfm?story=173510" target="_blank">http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/content.cfm?story=173510</a>. .

THE threat of strike action loomed closer at Manchester Airport today (Tuesday) after security staff voted in favour of industrial action.. .In the most significant of four ballots covering 1,600 workers, more than 82 per cent said yes to a walk-out. Out of three other smaller ballots, two produced yes votes and one, involving baggage handling, said no to action.

Security staff are furious over airport plans to introduce new shifts, slash wages and cut up to 150 posts. The airport insists security will not be jeopardised.

Within the next 48 hours union bosses will formally inform the airport of its intention to strike which means workers could strike within a further seven days.

Union bosses insist they want only to put pressure on management and cause the least pain possible for passengers.

But workers warn that even an hour-long walk-out could paralyse the airport, causing severe delays.

Meanwhile, the airport has recruited an army of private security companies to take over in the event of strike action to stop the airport from grinding to a halt.

And following the result of the ballot, airport bosses immediately raised the stakes in the dispute by revealing 150 security staff have already signed the new contracts.

A spokesman said: "It would be inappropriate to comment on a ballot result of which we have not yet been officially notified. But we believe the ballot was totally unnecessary and that all the issues can be resolved through the normal procedures."

Transport and General Workers’ Union regional spokesman Dave McCall said: "Obviously this is a demonstration of how angry the members feel. None of us take this matter lightly, least of all the members at the sharp end despite the company claims that there is no real dispute or real depth of feeling amongst the members."

. .And from the same source; <a href="http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/content.cfm?story=173237" target="_blank">http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/content.cfm?story=173237</a>

Management say they want to slash the wages of 650 security staff by 40 per cent — at present they earn about 22,000 (28,000 for night shifts).

David Teale, managing director of Manchester Airport Services, which is responsible for security, said the changes were designed to ensure the airport became more competitive so it could attract airlines such as easyJet, which operates out of Liverpool.

"We need to get our charges down. If we are more expensive, why should airlines use us?" he said.

He claimed wages at Manchester were far higher than at other airports.

Today it emerged that the cloud cast by September 11 is lifting at the airport. Axed services to north America and the Far East are being reinstated, while millions will be spent on an airport refurbishment to boost jobs.

And despite the terrorist attacks the number of passengers using the airport last year rose four per cent to a record near-20m.

Airport managing director John Spooner said: "These figures show the demand for air travel is still robust despite the September 11 setbacks. I am very optimistic that many more people will start flying again in the weeks and months ahead."

. .PP

Doctor Cruces
24th Jan 2002, 17:13
At the sharp end of airline/airport operations, we all know what needs to be done and most of us are aware that it will cost money to do these things.

However, the bottom line is of course, profit. Paying extra for security will obviously affect profit and no company will accept this in what we are told are "difficult times."

To this end, only lip service will be paid to enforcing security at airports.

As profits affect senior management bonuses and next years possible 90,000 pay hike for some, it is in their own interests to keep costs down by not implementing expensive recommendations and keeping security staffing and security staff salaries low.

Security, it's a joke in some places. In my experience staff get a closer scrutiny than some passengers.

Doc C.

Al Capone
24th Jan 2002, 17:38
Have ever been to Istanbul International Airport? Following 9/11, I visited the city for business meetings.

I was advised on my return to get to IST airport at least 2hrs30 mins before flight because of the step up in security.

Stepping up security is step one. Step two it has to be effective. It wasn't!

At IST, no one can enter the terminal without a bording pass (that was the most effective out of all process, that about it... After the boarding pass checked, all bagages including belly bags were x-rayed as well as myself. the CROWD going through is unseen, 1000's per hr, and none of the Xray scanning staff watch their TV monitors. As for myself, the X-ray beeped and no one checked me out!! Why, was it because I was well dressed with tie and suite etc..

Again, just before entering the waiting lounge (after duty free shops), Hand bag and body X rayed again. Same scenarion. Beep Beep, you look like a business man, just go thru!

If organised groups are determined to attack an airport, aircraft, they will find a way. However I also suggest that security is stepped up not only in the terminal but also along the fences and pheriphery of the airports. Possibilities are countless and nothing but a show for fat cat politicians to cover their rear ends.

Get real..