Supplementary memorandum submitted from
TRANSEC (10 May 2002)
Q855Documentation on screening and vetting
of air cargo personnel
Under statutory directions to airlines and security
approved air cargo agents, staff recruited for the purpose of
receiving or handling air cargo must meet the criteria spelt out
by the Department. These require that there should be a reference
check giving full details of applicants' education, training and
employment over the last five years, or since they reached the
age of 15, whichever is the shorter. At interview, each applicant
is made aware of the full implications of the reference check.
After the interview, confirmation is sought from previous employers,
educational establishments etc that the references given by the
applicant are accurate and there is nothing in their experience
which suggests that the applicant may be unsuitable for their
suitability for security duties.
A decision on whether to employ the applicant
is made by a senior executive within the employer's organisation.
In making such a decision, full account must be taken of the information
obtained in the verification process and for any periods for which
it had not been possible to obtain complete verification.
It is a statutory requirement that all staff
recruited on air cargo security duties should receive appropriate
training from an organisation approved by the Department to deliver
On Friday, 3 May 2002, a new statutory direction
on airlines and security approved air cargo agents, among others,
came into effect, replacing an earlier direction. The main features
of this direction are to set out the types of identity documents
to be checked and a tightening of the verification process for
all security staff.
Q863Details of UK compliance with Chicago
Convention and ECAC measures since 11 September
The UK is in full compliance with ECAC requirements.
There is one part of one ICAO security standard with which the
UK is not totally compliant, relating to segregation of arriving
and departing passengers. Two UK airports are not fully compliant
with this requirement. There are compensatory measures in place
to manage the resulting risk and good progress is being made to
introduce physical segregation.
The UK is also not compliant with a new ICAO
standard relating to the issue of aircrew documentation. This
is primarily a flight crew licensing issue in Annex 9 of the Chicago
Convention, but has been copied across to Annex 17 (Security).
The standard requires aircrew certificates to be issued by contracting
states, whereas in the UK they are issued by the airlines. DTLR
and CAA are discussing how best to achieve compliance. It should
be noted, however, that unlike the majority of other countries
all aircrew entering Restricted Zones at UK airports are subject
to the same level of security screening as departing passengers.
Q873Observations on the Two incidents raised
by Mr Hancock (The one in Washington took place on 8 February
2002. The flight was BA216)
Mr Hancock described two incidents when flying
back to the UK from foreign airports, which had caused him concern.
The first was with British Airways in Washington, the second with
Turkish Airlines in Istanbul. In both instances his main concerns
related to the implications for proper reconciliation of passengers
Aviation security is governed by international
law, set down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation
(ICAO), under which each country is responsible for the security
arrangements of aircraft flying from its state. Therefore, we
set down the national aviation security programme for UK airports
and all aircraft operating from UK airports, and other states
do the same for their territories. By operating within the internationally
agreed concept of host state responsibility, we have no legal
jurisdiction outside of the UK. Nonetheless we consider we have
a responsibility for UK airlines when they are overseas. Therefore
guidance has been issued to UK carriers setting out security procedures
for their overseas operations, but these can only be recommended
practice and are dependent on the host state for facilitation.
This package of overseas measures takes account
of the situation of group check-ins as described by Mr Hancock.
It recommends that aircraft operators allow group check-in only
when the group leader or representative can individually identify
each passenger's baggage by name and number of pieces at check-in,
and can answer the security questions for all group members. Checks
on the authenticity of travel documents produced by the group
representative are also advised.
The overseas measures also recommend that airlines
search all items of hold baggage. Furthermore, they ask airlines
to ensure reconciliation of passengers and baggage, by ensuring
that each item of hold baggage is identified as to whether it
is accompanied or not, and that all persons who have hold baggage
on board the aircraft, board it. Unaccompanied bags may be carried,
but only if they have been searched to a specific standard, which
is higher than that for normal hold baggage screening.
Once the hold baggage of the group to which
Mr Hancock referred reached the UK, it would have been under the
jurisdiction of the UK national aviation security programme. Mr
Hancock had concerns about the security of transfer baggage within
the UK. Our requirements, which are legally binding on airlines,
cover screening and reconciliation of all hold baggage, regardless
of whether it is originating in the UK, or is transferring from
an incoming to outgoing flight. All hold baggage on international
flights must be screened to a specified standard: this has been
a legal requirement since July 1997. The baggage must also be
subject to the reconciliation procedures described above, and
this has been a legal requirement since July 1994.
The second incident concerned a flight with
Turkish Airlines from Istanbul, where Mr Hancock's bags travelled
on a separate aircraft and it appears that a number of bags travelled
unaccompanied on the flight he was on. We can appreciate Mr Hancock's
concern at this. However, the UK Government has no locus in this
sort of situationthe flight was operating under the jurisdiction
of the Turkish aviation security programme and furthermore, it
was not being operated by a UK carrier.
As a member state of ICAO, the Turkish programme
should comply with the Standards and Recommended Practices of
Annex 17 to the Chicago Convention. At the time of Mr Hancock's
journey this required that national aviation security programmes
must include measures to ensure that aircraft operators do not
transport the baggage of passengers who are not on board the aircraft,
unless the baggage separated from the passengers is subjected
to other security control measures. These measures were not specified
by ICAO. They could therefore even be as little as the captain
of the aircraft considering the circumstances and being satisfied
that these were genuine and that the baggage therefore would not
pose a threat to the aircraft. This was the situation at the time
of Mr Hancock's journey in 1998. The UK has long-lobbied for the
tightening of this ICAO standard, but progress is slow. The most
recent update of Annex 17 now specifies that the appropriate security
controls may include screening. A new Standard has also been introduced
by ICAO that provides that from 1 January 2006, each Contracting
State shall establish measures to ensure that originating hold
baggage is screened prior to being loaded onto an aircraft.
Q883The measures taken at Newcastle Airport
to secure segregation of arriving and departing passengers
Newcastle Airport is fully compliant with ICAO,
ECAC and UK requirements in this respect. Departing passengers
are physically segregated from arriving international passengers
either through physical structures or by the use of vehicles to
take arriving passengers directly to the terminal arrivals hall.
Work is due to begin this summer to achieve complete physical
segregation during 2003.
There is no segregation between arriving and
departing domestic passengers. This is not required as all passengers
on UK domestic flights have been screened to the same standard.