Pilots ready to seek legal action over ID cards

Pilots ready to seek legal action over ID cards

Summary: The British Airline Pilots Association union has warned it may seek a judicial review of the government's ID scheme to prevent pilots being forced to carry the cards

TOPICS: Security

The British Airline Pilots Association union has warned it may seek a judicial review of the government's ID cards scheme to prevent pilots being forced to carry identity cards.

As part of a phased introduction of ID cards, the government has stipulated that people working in certain 'sensitive areas' such as airports will be required to hold an identity card from mid-2009. Foreign nationals will also have to carry the cards, with theirs set to be issued from next month.

A spokesman for the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), which represents more than 10,000 airline pilots — some 90 percent of the UK workforce — said: "The possibility of [seeking] a judicial review is very high on the agenda."

"[The review] would be on the basis that we are told repeatedly by ministers that the ID card scheme is voluntary but how can it be voluntary if we stand the prospect of losing our jobs?" he said.

The Balpa spokesman said pilots are of the view that security at airports can be tightened by implementing a national airport pass scheme, rather than by forcing them to carry ID cards. "We've been on at the government for a long time to standardise and have a national airport pass which in fact would do the trick but the government's refusing to go down that line," he said. "They say it's up to individual airport owners.

How can it be voluntary if we stand the prospect of losing our jobs?

Balpa spokesman

"[But] you don't have to go through the ID card route... It's a false premise. Security can be tightened in other ways."

Balpa's national executive has already had several meetings with the government to voice its objections to ID cards, and further talks have been offered, according to the spokesman, which the union intends to take up.

However, he added: "Ministers tell us, 'well, it's going to happen anyway'."

Additional primary legislation would be required for ID cards to become compulsory for every UK citizen or resident and, according to the government, there is no timetable for its introduction.

Topic: Security

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  • What about the merchant bankers?

    Surely, if this lot have been handing out the reddies, totally unplanned and unaccounted for, we do not have any spare left. We are probably borrowing money to give it to the banks.

    The obvious thing to do in this climate is to tighten the government belt and cancel all extraneous projects that have little chance of success on existing projections. In the case of the ID card scheme, the original budget has not even held water for the year or so since conception.
    It would be best to immediately phase it down to an alien registration system, with possible extensions later, ie bug check it, or just cancel it now before it takes other money with it.

    Regardless, the airline crew are correct this should not be a pilot scheme.
  • What ID Cards

    I am trying to remember when Parliament passed legislation to introduce Identity Cards and authorise such a massive public expenditure that the next government is likely to scrap.
    While I am in favour of heavy security among airport workers and those that need to access airports, I do not see any requirement for this with aircrew who should at all times have a passport in their possession and who should also be listed on, and can be checked against, flight schedules lists.
    Certainly all immigrants, legal and illegal, should be required to carry a checkable ID card until such time as they become established and integrated members of the community whose identity can easily be established if required.
  • Certainly all immigrants....

    Aha, make segregation live. "Are you citizen? Show me your right to live...".

    Yes we are talking about the people who have right to live and who have not, until they prove it.

    To prove the right to live.

    Freedom? Civil rights? Forget about it.
  • Not live but right to reside

    We are born with a right to live and be brought to mature sustainability by our parents. We have no other rights to anything until and unless we have EARNED them. Any Government prescribed "right" to anything is a charitable gift at the expense of the citizens that Government is supposed to represent.
    My argument is that historic resident citizens who are here by birth should not need to have ID cards as their identity can be proven and confirmed. All others, whose origin and identity, and therefore natural right to reside, should have the ID Card to properly identify them and enable their permitted residency to be easily confirmed. Race or religion has no relevance in this matter and to attempt to introduce it is attempt to disguise and bolster a very weak argument.
    Always remember, a RIGHT to anything has to be earned or it becomes a burden on the community.
  • There is difference

    The difference is between people is laying on presumption of innocence. "Native" citizen have not to prove that he's legal to the authorities, but visitor has to. It is where police state start. ID cards, biometric databases, rfid based personal cards, chip implants (there are precedents now), "patriot act"-like legislatives - we're on the edge of new era of loss of privacy, personal freedoms and presumption of innocence by default. You're considered guilty unless you have ID that proves opposite.

    "The loss of privacy started at the convenience". (C)....

    It's always started from "the special categories" - now it's immigrants and aircrew. Who's going to be next? Tube crew? Teachers dealing with children? Doctors that have access to drugs? Everything could have very well arguments - drugs is the one of the worlds biggest problem and who want his children have to ability "to talk to strangers" in the schools?

    Ask yourself whether you paying taxes to the government to protect you or to control you "for you own protection"? Because at the first they are servants for the people, and at the second they are jailers of the people.
  • Losing track

    I fear that the original thread has been lost. But the need to prove ID satisfactorily is an unfortunate fact of modern life, accelerated, again unfortunately, by infiltration of those, almost all of non native stock, wishing to cause death and injury to people and property.
    In order to make it very difficult for these people of violence to commit their acts it is really necessary for strict security in many places and amongst those whose profile is similar to previous terrorists and violent people.
    To this end - and the safety of many - those who work at, or require access to, airports and similar must be readily identifiable as part of their employment terms regardless of their personal wishes . Aircrew do not work airside at airports, they just pass through to collect their plane and off they go - and they all have passports and aircrew documentation so should not require national ID Cards.
    It should also be possible, anywhere and any time, for a police officer to be able to check and confirm a persons identity. With a non native UK born person, ie immigrant, it may not be possible to make an identify, therefore a national ID card should be carried.
    That this may upset an immigrant is irrelevant as acceptance of UK laws and regulations is as necessary as learning English.
  • Nope

    The police officer should have very strong basement to ask some to show his id. That's where the civil rights begin. The state should have a good reason to stop someone and ask for something. The person should not confirm his personality to the any interesting official.

    The institute of police exists on the taxes of taxpayers to let this taxpayers live safely not to be terrorized by officials. How to prove for particular person his citizenship? The IDs for immigrants brings IDs for natives. If you're native and don't have ID with you, you could be considered illegal by checking officer and you'll end your day in the police station "to check your identity". Take a look at the Moscow for example. If you doesn't look good enough for Moscow you prove your identity to every officer any day. Why? Because they can. And anyway it doesn't prevent terroristic acts to happen.

    Before becoming police state GB should look at the "not so democratic" governments and their principles and see that it does not help. How many terrorists was arrested by checking their IDs on the street? Do you really think those ones who's responsible for 9/11 could be stopped in the airport by checking their IDs? Do you really think that all terrorists and criminals are foreign citizens?

    Everything you'll get is control of government over law-abiding people. And you should remember that that "government" is not abstract thing - there are living people in it which have their wishes, needs and everything else what anyone wants. It should be considered seven times to really understand the powers that some people will have over other people and what you'll get in exchange.