Solving the identity challenge


Airports are huge employers of people and with such large numbers and regular turnover of staff the issue of security clearance and access control to vulnerable areas is a major one. With airports across the world varying greatly in their use of biometric solutions, number of employee access portals, as well as which security measures are in place at employee access portals, how should airports and carriers implement enhanced security procedures that best suit their individual operating environments?

Jade Haase, ID Gateway

As an aviation recruitment company, we often manage airport ID applications for our contractors, most frequently pilots and cabin crew. This has led us to being on multiple airport ID schemes, requiring us to own every stage of the ID lifecycle. As such, understanding the regulatory requirements of the airport from an employer’s point of view and staying up to date on any changes to policy is key. Many of our clients choose us on the basis that our knowledge is both varied and extensive, enabling us to offer bespoke support, depending on the airport in question and therefore the applicable guidelines.

Getting the process right is critical and can save a great deal of time. Here we tackle what can be quite a resource consuming exercise.

Firstly, don’t assume that the process will be similar from one airport to another, even if you are applying for what appears to be exactly the same thing (such as crew ID). Ensure that you understand the nuances of your chosen airports requirements for clearance, including the step by step application process, the paperwork needed to support it, acceptable formats of documentation, validity of criminal records, etc. Clear guidance information on an airports ID scheme will normally be freely available on their website, or a support number will be provided to help complete the process with ease and accuracy. Our sister company, IDGateway, is the market leader in airport ID solutions which gives us a significant advantage to understand the requirements to maintain an ID pass and how to support candidates through the process.

Consider what can be incorporated into a recruitment practice at the earlier stages. This can highlight potential problems at the outset which can then be addressed accordingly. Creating an application registration process including thorough employment history will allow you to get a detailed picture of each candidates’ background, including any periods of unemployment that could prove difficult to source evidence for a security pass application. This also allows you to identify any countries the candidate has resided in that will require criminal record checks (in can take as long as 12 weeks to obtain criminal record checks in some countries).

At the interview, ask outright if a candidate has any convictions that could prohibit them from obtaining a security clearance from an airport ID centre. The ID scheme guidance notes will list all convictions that will exclude a candidate from being cleared and save you a lot of time and inconvenience further down the line.

Ensure that the candidate understands the gravity and severity of the application process. It is important that they take ownership and be as pro-active as they can in collating the necessary documents to the security clearance.

Work with the airport ID team as they are there to help and guide you throughout. They will be able to advise you on any areas of ambiguity and give you clear instruction on what needs to be done.

From start to finish this process can be very time consuming and therefore a considerable drain on valuable in-house resources. Working with an aviation people specialist, such as AeroProfessional, will allow the HR team within an organisation to focus their time on internal strategies, while having the assurance that the process is being handled by a team of dedicated specialists.

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