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July 4, 2022

UK fast-tracks aviation security checks to ease airport chaos

The counter-terrorist checks are now being processed in less than ten days, which is half the turnaround time required in March.

In an effort to ease disruption at airports, the UK Government has reduced the time taken for new aviation employees to pass the mandatory national security checks.

This change aims to expedite the arrival of new recruits, including x-ray screeners, into the sector to help meet the increasing demand for air travel over the summer.

Accreditation checks are now being processed in an average of five days while counter-terrorist checks (CTC) are being processed in less than ten.

This is about half the turnaround time compared with the required time for CTC checks in March, which was 20 days, the Department for Transport stated.

The government has also allowed employers to start training new staff on some modules before their background checks are completed, accelerating the onboarding process.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) employment history letters are also being used as a reference check.

Last week, the UK Government announced a 22-point plan to address aviation disruptions this summer.

The disruptions are the result of staff shortages combined with high demand for travel following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “These statistics demonstrate how the government is doing its bit to help deliver for passengers; now the industry must fulfil its responsibilities.

“People have made huge sacrifices during the pandemic and deserve their flights to run on time, without complications and without being cancelled last minute.

“While this is a challenging time for the sector, it is not acceptable for the current disruption to continue as we head into the summer peak.

“The public deserves to know now whether or not their flight will run over the summer, and so I reiterate my call for the industry to commit to deliver the flights they have scheduled or to cancel them well in advance so people can make other arrangements.”

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