Airlines and airport operators have come out against government plans to introduce biometric identity cards for aviation workers in a trial for a national ID card.
The Home Office aims to introduce the cards for airline and airport workers by autumn 2009, claiming a uniform system will benefit the industry by replacing a range of existing security schemes.
However, talks between the Home Office and industry representatives have reached an impasse and the British Air Transport Association has now written to home secretary Jacqui Smith saying the plans will increase costs without bringing tighter security.
The letter is signed by the heads of British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, EasyJet and Monarch Airlines among others.
It argues the existing security measures, vetting and criminal record checks are sufficiently thorough. BATA secretary-general Roger Wiltshire said: “The last thing the airline industry needs are the extra costs and hassle of this proposal.
“It adds no value in security terms and seems intended only to meet the government’s political objectives,” he said.
The government has struggled to win support for a national ID card, a scheme the Tory party is committed to scrapping.