Their union Prospect represents over 3,500 air traffic controllers, engineers and other specialists. Together with other aviation unions it has been seeking to enter discussions with the Government on its proposals to introduce compulsory ID cards for airside workers. But the Government has made it clear that it intends to plough on regardless with introducing the scheme in late 2009.
Garry Graham, Prospect National Secretary for Aviation, stated:
“We have listened very carefully to what the Government has said and we have tried to influence their proposals. Our members in air traffic control are already subject to the very highest levels of security checking and vetting.
“Aviation safety and security is and always will be the number one priority for our members. The proposals put forward by the Government add nothing to either safety or security and we remain perplexed as to why the Government remains determined to pursue this initiative.
“The Government appears intent on using aviation workers as guinea pigs before it rolls out ID cards for the rest of the population. Its proposals have more to do with seeking to grab news headlines than a cool and calm appraisal as to what steps need to be taken to enhance aviation safety.”