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Screening of crew operating screened air services

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Screening of crew operating screened air services

Old 13th Mar 2005, 02:34
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Screening of crew operating screened air services

By now we are all aware that all pilots must be screened who operate screened air services. This decision has been taken by someone who simply does not understand the environment in which airline crews operate, or, apparently, aviation security in general. I have taken the liberty to write a letter to the Minister, which I will also copy to my local federal member, senators, the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General.

I invite all of you affected by this measure (and those who are not but who agree with the sentiment) to copy my letter, change any parts you wish and then send it in aswell. (and copy it to you local member etc.)

Woomera, any chance you can sticky this thread please?

Let's not just lay down and take this rubbish - we all want a secure workplace and robust industry, but ridiculous "security" measures like this are not on and we must take a stand together.

*************************

The Hon John Anderson
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Transport and Regional Services
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600


Dear Minister

Screening of crew operating screened air services

As you are aware, the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Aviation Transport Regulations 2005 commenced on 10 March 2005, and one of the requirements of this legislation is that crew operating a screened air service must be screened.

In the past, crew who entered their aircraft through other than the sterile area did not have to be screened. In many cases, it was and still is impractical for operating crews to enter their aircraft though the sterile area. It was not uncommon for crews to sign on for duty and proceed directly to the apron and onto their aircraft. Now, we must detour via the terminal and be cleared at the screening point. This activity can literally take up to an extra hour before pilots (and indeed cabin crew) can arrive at their aircraft. Think of the magnitude of the extra cost imposed upon airlines as a result of this requirement.

Many additional security requirements imposed under the new legislation will add costs to the aviation industry. However, pilots understand that most of these additional requirements add to the safety of ourselves and to our passengers, and therefore accept these increased security measures. Indeed, the Government is to be applauded for bringing Australia to the forefront of aviation security - but what security outcome does the mandatory screening of crew deliver?

First we must consider who has access to a screened aircraft parked on the apron of a security controlled airport. The list is long. Most of these people do not need to be screened before entering the airside area (including the security restricted area), but nor should they be. These include baggage handlers, caterers, cleaners, engineers etc. However, pilots must be screened, and pilots, unlike any of the groups just mentioned, require additional background checking as part of the Flight Crew License issue. Surely, something is not quite right here.

You may argue that none of the groups mentioned (apart from the pilots) are actually on board the aircraft when it is airborne. This is of course quite correct, however, it is a moot point unless you go on to argue that a pilot would attempt to hijack his own aircraft! If this were to happen, it would happen whether the pilot was screened or not. Remember, pilots are already in the flight deck and can carry certain items through a screening point that could be used to incapacitate a fellow crew member. Apart from anything eles, items considered to be"weapons" already reside in the flight deck of screened aircraft. Surely there can be no argument here. Any person with access to the security restricted area who has not been screened has the opportunity to put something untoward on an aircraft. If pilots must be screened, then surely every person with access to a parked screened aircraft must also be screened.

Minister, the legislative requirement to screen crew must be discontinued. It delivers literally no security outcome, but it does cause significant cost and inconvenience to aircrews and airlines alike. I am aware that some security measures exist more for public perception of increased security, rather than actual increased security. I am not arguing that that is necessarily a bad thing. But this requirement does not even deliver on favourable public perception. I am certainly not advocating that crew who do board their aircraft through a sterile area before entering the airside area be exempt from screening. That would certainly not do much for public perception or security in general. But crews must be allowed to board their aircraft through other than the sterile area and therefore not be screened.

Regional airlines in particular will feel the full brunt of this requirement. Pilots arriving on an aircraft which has not been screened (from, say, Moree to Sydney) will not be allowed to enter the sterile area at the arrival port until they have been screened. Therefore, before they enter the terminal on their "turn around" to collect paper work etc, they will have to subject themselves to screening. This extra process may take up to 30 minutes. But regional aircraft (indeed all aircraft) are on tight turn arounds and this additional requirement may well mean the difference between profit and loss, and therefore jobs. It is simply impractical, and again, delivers absolutely no security outcome.

I understand that with a package of legislation so large, and covering so many people, it would be near impossible to get it completely right the first time. The mandatory screening of crew is one of those things that you did not get right the first time around. I therefore ask that you remove this requirement from the legislation at the earliest possible date, and in the meantime, that you grant an exemption to operating crews so that they only need to be screened when entering their aircraft through the sterile area.

Your Department, while consulting on and implementing the new security framework, has forged a positive relationship with the aviation industry for perhaps the first time in history. You and they should be commended for this. Do not let this issue turn the relationship sour, because pilots (and airlines) will not put up with this ridiculous requirement for long. I await your earliest advice.

Yours sincerely




applehead
Commercial Pilot

13 March 2005
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Old 13th Mar 2005, 04:45
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I think that writing to the minister is likely to achieve little as the minister is the man who stands to gain the most from this idiotic set of regulations.

I am of the opinion that these measures are payback for NAS and are an easy and politically popular way of sticking it to the pesky pilots that have caused him so much grief over the NAS debacle.

It is all upside for Anderson and all downside for us!

Just as a point of interest who screens the screeners when they open up in the morning?
Dehavillanddriver is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2005, 06:29
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Applehead - your points are all valid.
What the Minister probably does not understand is that this extra 30 minutes for screening has to come out of the pilots' duty day, and in multiple sector days, it is possible that pilots will be subject to several screenings. Soon we will be at the stage where half the duty day will be spent completing ground formalities. So much for smart country productivity.
It is a nonsense - if a pilot wishes to hijack his/her own aeroplane he/she will simply lock the co-pilot out via the new you-beaut bullet-proof door - another stupid knee-jerk if ever there was one, and one which may yet see a repeat of the Silkair disaster. They'd be better doing regular psycho testing on pilots, and even that wouldn't necessarily catch the odd nutter who may seem OK this week, then have something happen to snap the brain.
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Old 13th Mar 2005, 08:06
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Angry I don't enjoy my job as much any more :-(

If Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi were alive and advising us I suspect he would advise a course of civil disobedience, where all professional pilots refused to remove from their person, normal tools of trade, such as
  • wrist watches
  • circular slide rules,
  • pocket calculators/PDAs
  • footware
  • belts
  • biros

when subsequently unable to pass through the security check point another crew could be called in, and so it would go. When no pilot could make it to their aircraft without removing normal, unthreatening posessioins, many such as wings mandated by employers, then perhaps some one in authority will take a sane and sensible look at these absolutely stupid and useless new procedures, that fail dismally to add one iota to aviation security!
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Old 13th Mar 2005, 08:11
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Dehavilland Driver, I would guess your summation of the political imperative is probably accurate. As to who is screening the screeners. Who is screening them for intelligence might be more to the point. Or even, is it possible to rely on an inate intelligence of people in such a role.

It would seem that the 11/9 hijackers, rather than get too complicated in their plot used the lowest common denominator, the sceener's lack of intelligence and inbred indifference to the ways of others.

How pilots who for the most part have always been the good guys are now being treated with outright suspicion is perplexing.
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Old 13th Mar 2005, 09:11
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If Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi were alive and advising us I suspect he would advise a course of civil disobedience, where all professional pilots refused to remove from their person, normal tools of trade, such as
On one occasion recently, I refused to remove my shoes, these are the same shoes that I wear everyday and have not caused an airport security machine to go off previously.

On the day in question for some reason I beeped, as usual I had removed every metal object from my person. I explained that I go through these machines evryday wearing the same shoes and had not once in 6 months of wearing these shoes beeped.

"Could your machine possibly be wrong"?

"NO" was the gruff reply.

"Could it perhaps be wrongly calibrated"?

An even stearner "NO"

"now you will have to take off your shoes mr.......(looks at ID) Hughes.

"Well I will submit to a screening with the wand but I will not remove my shoes"!!

"YOU MUST REMOVE YOUR SHOES AND BE RESCREENED"!!

"NO" I reply.

At this point the shift supervisor intervenes and says "let him go" "It'll be OK".

Two days later, the boss calls me to explain that they have been approached by security, about one of our staff members who refused to submit to a security screening.

"That was me" I exclaimed, I then proceeded to explain my case, no action was taken by my company and nothing heard from security either. However for the next 3 weeks I got an evil look from the guard concerned. I have'nt seen him for months and have had no further problems.

I'll take your advice Capt Claret.
Cheers, HH.

Howard Hughes is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2005, 10:18
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I had an experience at a (Major!!!) hahahaha Airport, where I had to go and get money from an ATM which was on one side of the security, and then get lunch from a shop in the terminal which was on the OTHER side of security. Since it was quicker to go thru security, I tried to do so. Security then demanded that I get half undressed... which I refused to do, and said... 'Listen, forget it. I won't come thru here... I shall go airside".. the answer to which was " No worries!".

I went airside, then came from behind and said " No problems ?", to which he replied" no worries, enjoy your lunch!"


My question is ...." When was the last time a PILOT hijacked an aircraft ? or was involved in a BOMB SCARE etc on his/her (got to be correct!) own aircraft?

Surely if one IS a pilot, and CAN go airside to his/her (PC) own aircraft, then why not?

If a terrorist can fake ID good enuff to get airside, then surely they can fool, a 'RENT - A - COP" ?

Just out of interest ... When was the last time anyone got caught at security impersonating a pilot? ... ANYWHERE ?????
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Old 13th Mar 2005, 10:25
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Man Bilong Balus long PNG
 
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Question

Dehavillanddriver; Quite correct! I believe the actual phrase was, and any Latin scholars please correct/amend where applicable;
Quo custodiet custodes
Who guards the guardians?
And perhaps someone could also inform as to whom this quote is attributed.

You only live twice. Once when
you're born. Once when
you've looked death in the face.
Pinky the pilot is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2005, 10:33
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Sprucegoose
 
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Just out of interest ... When was the last time anyone got caught at security impersonating a pilot? ... ANYWHERE ?????
Interesting question There are plenty of people out there impersonating pilot's, why have'nt any of them been caught?

Cheers, HH.

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Old 13th Mar 2005, 13:43
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So what happens to all my equipment in my NAV bag that could be determined as dangerous weapons and confiscated at the screening point. This includluding but not limited to;

Leatherman, an indespensable tool for fixing broken screws. changing light bulbs etc.

Metal Rulers

Compass for drawing circles, dividers for measuring distances on maps etc

Set Squares

Fuel drains

The off pair of pliers/screwdrivers I have floating around in my bag.

Most charter pilots I know carry some form of emerhancy tool kit, what do we do with those.

NO i will not put anything in the hold, I do want to see my nav bag again
nomorecatering is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2005, 17:50
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On Friday I saw some AFL footballers putting their clear plastic bottles of water through the x ray machine. (True) Maybe the security personnel are recruited from ex AFL footy players?
I've had my Jepp charts inspected as they thought the binders may be used as a weapon.
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Old 13th Mar 2005, 22:34
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Don't be surprised if you need to be security screened to play Flight Simulator 2006 or at least wear an ASIC.

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Old 13th Mar 2005, 22:43
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Pink

It was I think, our friend Juvenal a Roman satirist of yore.
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Old 14th Mar 2005, 13:11
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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Who shall keep watch over the guardians? (Luvenalis)
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Old 14th Mar 2005, 21:23
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Nomorecrap....

not living up to your name there, are you ?
colonel hannibal is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2005, 06:06
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Aircraft Delays

The new screening procedures have already caused aircraft delays at SIT with some crew being required to pass through detectors three times.This wiil no doubt have an impact on costs,future on time departures with slot times being compromised.Perhaps sign on times 2.5 hours before departure may assist OTDs..Oooh that will damage someone's KPIs
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Old 15th Mar 2005, 08:48
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Man Bilong Balus long PNG
 
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Devil

Nomorecrap; Thanks for that! And re the good Colonel's comment on your post..
Ab illegitimus non carborundum.

You only live twice. Once when
you're born. Once when
you've looked death in the face.

(wish I had the Latin translation for my signature!)And it's the Ides of March too!
Pinky the pilot is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2005, 10:02
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There is a variation in the sensitivity of the machines. After having to get almost undressed in Launceston one morning, I was able on the same day go through Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane without a peep.

On another occasion, I had the need to go back and forward through the screening at Melbourne airport by the Virgin lounge. I went through that machine each hour from about 1400 onwards. At 1800, the machine peeped and I was asked to empty my pockets - they were already empty except for a few coins. With the coins removed( 2 x 20c 1 x 50c - remember I am only a poorly paid pilot) I was able to go through. The shift supervisor got very testy when queried what had changed.

The problem is that if you get on the wrong side of DOTR, they can withdraw your ASIC card and bingo,you are out of a job virtually.
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Old 17th Mar 2005, 00:22
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Dog one said

The problem is that if you get on the wrong side of DOTR, they can withdraw your ASIC card and bingo,you are out of a job virtually.
Absolute bullshit.

When has ANY aircrew been deprived of their ASIC?

I bet you cannot tell me. That is because it has not happened. Certainly not for a minor confrontation with a $10 per hour security monkey.

A lot of the folk reading here might be tempted to take your unfounded assertion, as fact.

The first thing that you would do if you have a toe-to-toe with a security monkey at an airport and are facing some bureaucratic heat as a result, is to contact your local federal member and request a ministerial inquiry into the conduct of one of his or her agencies 'officers' on the day.

Then watch them run for cover. No public servant welcomes the scrutiny of a 'Ministerial'.

To lose your ASIC you would have to plant a bomb, be photographed chanting in the front row of an Al-Quaida rally, or be convicted (not accused) of a major crime such as manslaughter, murder or rape.

An argument with a security monkey, however unpleasant, just doesn't get close.

Last edited by ITCZ; 17th Mar 2005 at 00:33.
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Old 17th Mar 2005, 00:41
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Great! I bet they expect us to sign on at the same time as well. Is there a delay code for Group 4 moron?

Just degradation of our profession!
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