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CHIRP - More useless CAA comment regarding crew security.

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CHIRP - More useless CAA comment regarding crew security.

Old 8th Aug 2008, 21:40
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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

Temps

Last edited by Tempsford; 8th Aug 2008 at 21:51.
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Old 8th Aug 2008, 22:27
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Authority is generally doing what they are told to do

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.
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Old 9th Aug 2008, 00:05
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CarltonBrown

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.

Dunhovrin

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.

Last edited by Lost man standing; 9th Aug 2008 at 00:24.
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Old 9th Aug 2008, 07:41
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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.
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Old 9th Aug 2008, 15:19
  #65 (permalink)  
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A glimmer of hope?

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

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
 
Old 9th Aug 2008, 15:28
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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.
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Old 9th Aug 2008, 15:59
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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.
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Old 9th Aug 2008, 16:32
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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...

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Old 10th Aug 2008, 00:55
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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?
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 11:05
  #70 (permalink)  
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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.)

G
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 12:06
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Why?

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!
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 12:38
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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!

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Old 10th Aug 2008, 14:51
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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.

Temps
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 15:27
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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.
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Old 11th Aug 2008, 03:17
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Leathermans tool

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.
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Old 11th Aug 2008, 05:02
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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.
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Old 11th Aug 2008, 10:02
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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.
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Old 11th Aug 2008, 17:44
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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.
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 17:38
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ICTS - disgusting, dangerous, drug ridden bunch!

Firestorm:

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
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 17:53
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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.

ttfn
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