Should the Government relax aviation background checks?
Updated: Jun 9
Airlines and airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham have been struck by staff shortages due to a combination of Covid related sickness and more demand from the public due to the easing of Covid regulations.
Now it has been announced Airports will be allowed to relax counterterror checks on new staff to plug shortages under new proposals to end travel chaos that has been stretching on for months.
This then led to the news that staff are set to be trained in airports without security vetting, but they will not be allowed to work with airside access to the planes and runways.
Proposals to speed up background vetting come as a result of delays in the process, which are making it more difficult for businesses to deal with a severe labour shortage. For example, easyJet claim they are awaiting authorisation from the Department for Transport to hire roughly 100 extra employees.
According to The Telegraph, Courts stated in a leaked letter to top executives of airlines, airports, and ground handling businesses that he will bring forward legislation amendments in the coming weeks that will allow for more rapid training.
"Ministers do not have the powers to alleviate, as they have under other categories of aviation security regulation," the courts stated, because the statute on background checks was kept after the European Union withdrawal.
But to modify the law, the government must first obtain parliament's permission.
Grant Shapps, the Secretary of court and Transport, has already created the basis for the move to be implemented in a "expedited" manner, and he plans to present it to Parliament before the end of April.
Courts said in the letter viewed by The Telegraph, "I want to emphasise that while we are acutely aware of the need to bring additional employees into your operations, we must balance this against the potential of insider threat and other security issues. This will always be our main priority."
Since the commencement of the Easter holidays, aviation executives and governments have been blaming each other for the travel mess.
"We are considering all measures to assist business speed up employment reference checks using our post-Brexit freedoms," a government spokeswoman said.
However, we will not allow anybody to work in the field unless they have been through the necessary background checks."
How can VettingGateway help?
VettingGateway is an online vetting platform, from the ID experts IDGateway, which includes a unique one-click integration with AirportGateway, the number 1 ID pass management system in the UK. Using VettingGateway, aviation background checks can be completed in an average of 21* days, which is significantly quicker than the current industry standard.
Once a background check is completed using VettingGateway, you can automatically transfer all of the data and documents into AirportGateway to complete an ID application and apply for an ID pass. This unique integration considerably speeds up applications by up to 30 minutes each, resulting in a saving of up to 1.5 days a month for each member of your vetting team.
These are unprecedented times in the aviation industry, and as we look to solve a number of previously unencountered problems it is certainly the time to look for solutions that can streamline old, outdated processes such as background checking. You could revolutionise your vetting process using VettingGateway, and in doing so speed up your ID pass application process. For more information on how VettingGateway can help you click here, or you can sign up for your free starter licence and claim three free reference check by clicking here.
The information Provided by VettingGateway in this blog was published on the 21/04/2022, all information was relevant at the time of publishing however as our landscape is forever changing this information may not remain valid.
*Average 21 day turnaround for aviation background checks correct as of 01/04/2022