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UK ‘accelerates’ aviation security checks to ease disruption

The UK government has “accelerated” the timing of new aviation personnel passing safety tests as part of its pressure to reduce disruptions at airports this summer.

A key part of the government’s 22-point plan to disrupt aviation is an effort to speed up the security check process. Airlines and airports have blamed the timing of new employees passing safety tests as one of the main problems in the sector.

The Department for Transportation (DFT) says national security verification checks, which are required for all new pilots, have now been expedited, recognition checks are completed in an average of five days, and counterterrorism checks take less than 10 days. March averages 20 days.

The government has allowed employers to start training new employees in some modules before completing their background checks.

The DFT insisted that all these measures would not “compromise” with security at the airport to expedite security checks.

Transport Secretary Grant Shaps said: “These figures show how the government is doing its bit to help deliver for passengers; Now the industry has to fulfill its responsibility.

“While this is a challenging time for the sector, it is not acceptable for us to continue the current disruption as we approach the peak of summer.

“The public needs to know now whether their flights will run in the summer, and so I reiterate my call to the industry to commit to delivering scheduled flights, or to cancel them in advance so that people can make other arrangements.”

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