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Old 25th Sep 2001, 20:38
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Join Date: Sep 2001
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Even prior to the American tragedy, I never understood why the aviation and security authorities don't standardise ID passes. I've lost count over the years of the number of times I've been given problems at security gates because my ID pass doesn't swipe because it's issued by another airport. Then (and especially now) the security staff insist that I show them another form of identification.
My pilot's licence has no photgraph any more, so they want to see a passport. In which case, what's the use of having an ID pass in the first place? The same problems occur when moving job to a different base and actually applying for a new pass. The fact that a professional member of aircrew has held a security pass for 20 or so years at various international airports throughout the UK offers no assistance in applying for a new one at whatever other new base is applied.
Luton Airport used to ask all sorts of useless questions like "Can you prove where you were 2 years ago?" Sorry Guys, but if I was working for a dodgy outfit do you really think I'd tell you?
Isn't it about time ALL airport staff ID cards had a universal code which, when swiped at any UK or European airport, it would activate a central computer which would confirm it's validity. In the event of an aircrew member leaving employment, the company would notify security who would cancel the card within seconds. The same card to perhaps be re-activated once the pilot finds work again.
Each card could contain a code within the swipe which could provide additional information such as licence number, mother's date of birth, or some other personal piece of information which could be used to further clarify identification when asked by the security officer.
The central computer would send a signal to the security officer's monitor to display picture. I haven't ruled out iris identification and/or thumbprint info.
The technology already exists, and we're participating in a high technology industry, so why are we using draconian methods of staff identification?
Like everything, dedicated terrorists will find a way round whatever is implemented, but so much manpower and time is wasted by security staff looking at and questioning ID cards when they could be exercising vigilance elsewhere.
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