Examination of Witnesses

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:28 pm on 23rd February 2012.

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Jim McAuslan: For the average individual pilot at present, in terms of security—I am not able to talk about economic competition between terminals, but I can discuss our experience with security—it is a mess. We surveyed our members and only one in 10 believed that the current arrangements were satisfactory. Some 58% believed that they arrive at the aircraft more stressed having gone through security under the existing regime, so we find security arrangements at airports quite anarchic.

If competition will drive an airport to try to improve its processes, that is terrific, but our experience on a day-to-day basis is that that is not what happens. People make up their own rules at security and, forgive me, you get little Hitlers emerging who are going to give instructions. Our members find it particularly frustrating that they cannot predict that; I say that not in the sense of predicting a way to get round it, but in terms of predicting it and knowing what the process will be between different terminals. That is why we are concerned that the delegation of powers to airports—which is the consequence of delegating powers to the CAA for security, with this outcomes-based security arrangement—will cause a more anarchic situation on the ground, and even more frustration for pilots.