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  • The events of September 11, 2001 in New York City, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania have revolutionized the way we must look at terrorism and airport and airline security. What was once unthinkable is now in the realm of tragic possibility.
  • The aviation world has changed forever.
  • We must therefore act to “raise the bar” to safeguard against such events in the future.
  • CUPE’s plan has two principal objectives:
  1. Improve our efforts to prevent such acts from taking place in the first instance by keeping potential terrorists off the aircraft.
  2. Improve our abilities to manage such acts if terrorists penetrate the first line of defence on the ground and make their way onto our aircraft.
  • Some of CUPE’s proposals will not necessitate extra costs. For the new security measures that will require additional monies, these funds must be provided by the Federal government from general revenues or, if necessary, from a dedicated passenger security tax. These extra resources may be provided either directly (by the Federal government taking over the provision of a service, e.g. airport security screening) or indirectly through the provision of dedicated grants. At this point in time, the airline industry is no longer in a position to continue bearing the costs of the current or improved security measures.
    1. The First Line of Defence: Preventing Non-Authorized Access to the “Sterile” Area and the Aircraft
      1. Better Airport Security Screening
        1. Federal government to take over financing and operation of airport security screening under the Department of Justice. This change would ensure full coordination with the Federal government’s policing, national defence and intelligence resources. Security screeners should also become peace officers with power of arrest. Air operators should no longer be responsible for the provision or financing of this essential service through contractors.
        2. Standardization of improved security procedures, training and equipment across the country at the major airports.
        3. An aircraft flying from any size airport, international or domestic, can now be used as a human-guided weapon. Implementation of basic passenger security screening measures at all airports carrying commercial passengers in aircraft with 20 seats or more. This would mean the re-introduction of such screening capabilities at those domestic airports that have had these services discontinued.
        4. Use of enhanced and the latest technology and techniques for screening of carry-on baggage and checked luggage.
        5. Review of existing resource levels for other airport police forces to ensure the provision of adequate patrols and response times when required.
      2. Better Control Over Who Can Enter the “Sterile” Area
        1. Security profiling to identify high-risk passengers. (This would be reflected in better security training procedures for airport and security screening personnel and the application of computer technology, e.g. Computer-Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System (CAAPS).) These profiling procedures must not be applied in a way that targets or discriminates against visible minorities.
        2. Only ticketed passengers should have access to the “sterile” area, in addition to authorized personnel that have been security cleared.
        3. Discontinuance of electronic ticketing check-in kiosks that currently let passengers check-in and receive a boarding pass without ever being identified and profiled by air operators. All passengers must check in and be verified for security purposes at staffed check-in counters. (Electronic check-in kiosks were not acceptable to Transport Canada for security reasons prior to 1995.)
        4. Positive passenger identification by trained airline employees at the check-in counter and at the gate immediately before boarding. In the longer-term, these procedures may be automated with the use of encoded passenger picture technology on boarding passes, etc.
        5. Verbal questioning of each passenger tendering checked baggage as to contents (Did you pack? Can you verify contents? Electronic devices?) and whether baggage was ever left unattended.
        6. Security screening of all passengers, crew members and all other personnel who may have access airside or to the aircraft (e.g. ramp staff, groomers, maintenance personnel, passenger service agents, caterers, etc.).
        7. All vehicles entering restricted areas must be searched internally, occupants identified as operationally essential and with proper authenticated security identification clearance. An exemption is possible for high-value shipments accompanied by accredited armed security guards, but not for catering trucks which may have only been searched by untrained personnel without security clearance.
        8. Review airport security pass procedures to ensure national consistency and a high level of security, including more frequent renewals of such clearance. This is best ensured by Transport Canada re-assuming responsibility for the issuance of airport security passes, with appropriate appeal mechanisms for affected holders of such passes.
        9. Better procedures for dealing with lost security identification, e.g. activated airport access pass to have a valid bar code that must be swiped at security doors to sterile areas, etc. In the immediate term, all current airport restricted area passes should be re-issued after appropriate security confirmation in a new format and with this new electronic “swipe” capability.
        10. In the more immediate term, and before new advanced access card technology is introduced, there should be more frequent changes to access codes on doors leading to airside restricted areas, crew rooms, etc.
        11. Minimum level of security at the perimeter of all Canadian airports to prevent and deter unauthorized access to the airports, its facilities and aircraft.
      3. Better Control Over What Can Reach the Aircraft
        1. Limit approved carry-on baggage to one item only per passenger, which must also be manually searched (hand search). This limit would not apply to uniformed crew members.
        2. Cutting instruments such as knives, knife-like objects, straight razors, scissors, or ice picks, or similar articles that may pose a threat to the security of civil aviation (e.g. pool cues, baseball bats, etc.) must be prohibited. Exceptions are allowed for items such as nail clippers, non-metallic nail files, and syringes or needles for personal medical use (when accompanied with a medical certificate) with the needle guard intact. This list of prohibited items must be standardized and made consistent across the country’s airports.
        3. All knives and knife-like objects to be removed from amenity kits, food trays, etc.
        4. No knives or other potential weapons should be sold at shops on the secure side of screening. Restaurants in those areas should not use steel knives or utensils which could be used as potential weapons.
        5. Review and assess the risks of other service or boarded items that may become a source of weapons onboard aircraft (e.g. glassware, glass bottles, duty free liquor, etc.).
        6. Personal electronic devices may be allowed on the aircraft but only if inspected (manually or otherwise) to verify that the device operates and does not pose a threat to the security of civil aviation.
        7. No transportation of any electronic device that may pose a threat to the security of the flight, based on ICAO Annex 17, Appendix 22, in checked baggage.
        8. Elimination of curbside check-in of baggage.
        9. Trained and certified personnel to perform searches of aircraft cabins and onboard equipment, not by flight or cabin crew.
        10. Trained personnel to search all food and beverage containers and aircraft stores prior to them being placed on board an aircraft, not by flight or cabin crew. Sealing of all such containers after the security search to ensure integrity of the process until boarded on the aircraft. (A broken seal will require a re-search.)
        11. Properly trained and certified bomb-sniffing dogs to be available at all major airports for use in routine and emergency airport and aircraft bomb searches. Available evidence indicates that such bomb-sniffing dogs are more reliable than current technological search methods.
      4. Better Control Over What Can Travel With the Aircraft
        1. Screening of all checked baggage (x-rays and trace screening), including late luggage.
        2. Positive reconciliation of all passengers and crew members and their checked baggage to ensure that the checked baggage of persons not on board the aircraft is not transported on the aircraft, without exception, on all domestic and international flights.
        3. The routine daily practice of shipping unscreened “slush cans” and individual items to clear outbound baggage rooms at the end of the day must be ended. (“Slush cans” are containers of all baggage that has been sequenced/taken off and has not been loaded on an aircraft. They are routinely put on the last flight of the night, often without knowing whether that passenger had travelled or not.) All such luggage must be subject to electronic screening before being forwarded to their final destination.
        4. A thorough review of current procedures for shipping dangerous goods, cargo and mail on passenger-carrying and crew only flights is necessary.
        5. We must prepare today for the possibility of a chemical/biological attack on our aircraft.
        6. New procedures and protocols for the discovery, reporting, handling and removal of such chemical/ biological substances on the ground must be developed and implemented, with full information and protection to crew members.
        7. In the air, aircraft should be equipped with air quality monitors that can provide an alarm in the cockpit if the presence of chemical/biological agents is detected. Appropriate operational procedures need to be implemented to manage exposure to such contaminants while in-flight, including necessary protective equipment. At a minimum, particle filter masks must be provided to all crew members that can screen out contaminants as a result of a biohazard threat.
    2. On the Aircraft: Improving Our Abilities to Deal With Onboard Security Situations
      1. Use of armed federal air marshals on all flights. The weapons that could be used by these carefully trained personnel must be non-lethal and not destructive to the aircraft and its cabin environment.
      2. All current commercial aircraft to be retrofitted with fortified cockpit doors and adjoining bulkheads to provide pilots with a secure flight deck perimeter and safeguard them from potential attacks. (Such doors to be required of new aircraft types entering service.)
      3. An unserviceable flight deck door/door locking mechanism should be a “no go” Minimum Equipment List (MEL) item.
      4. Locked cockpit door policy on all flights. Forward lavatory, public address and inter-phone systems must always be operative.
      5. In the longer term, discrete and secure switch(es) must be installed in the cabin area for use by flight attendants to notify the flight crew of a security breach, rather than using the far more observable interphone system.
      6. Move necessary emergency equipment needed for the cabin (restraint ties, protective breathing equipment, oxygen, etc.) from locked cockpit to secure cabin locations.
      7. Better threat information provided to all crew members in a more timely fashion.
      8. All crew members to participate in security briefings with pilots before each flight.
      9. Locked crew stowage compartments on board aircraft (to prevent theft of security clearance ID, etc.)
      10. Aircraft equipment required for safety, emergency or survival use may be taken over as weapons. Assess storage of such items (e.g. crash axe, crowbars, etc.) to secure and prevent their improper use during flight.
      11. On or off duty law enforcement personnel to identify themselves to crew members at boarding (as an extra resource in the event of an in-flight security situation).
      12. Review of current cabin safety procedures dealing with passenger boarding to ensure that everyone boarding is authorized to do so, particularly at foreign destinations.
      13. Security assessments and denials of boarding made by an individual crew member will be supported by other crew members without question.
      14. Review of other cabin safety practices, including leaving curtains/dividers open between cabins to allow for unobstructed view of cabin and flight deck door area, reinforcing crew coordination to facilitate immediate reporting of suspicious activities to other crew members, etc., to ensure their adoption by all air operators.
      15. Review of current onboard operating procedures to ensure that pilots and cabin crew are working together in a consistent fashion to manage any onboard situations, particularly in the event that “last resort” procedures (e.g. steep dives, decompression, etc.) are to be used.
      16. Deportees always to be accompanied by (an) escort(s).
    3. Better Training For All Airport Personnel and Crew Members
      1. In the interim until the Federal government takes over airport security screening, enhanced security training for:
        • Staff responsible for passenger check-in (e.g. security profiling, questioning, operation of new or enhanced equipment, etc.)
        • Security personnel (e.g. security profiling, questioning, operation of new or enhanced equipment, etc.)
      2. Review of current flight attendant security training to ensure that cabin crew can effectively address the new situations of suicide bombers vs. traditional hijackers. (Aggressive vs. passive technique for dealing with such situations.)
      3. Implementation of personal protection training for cabin crew.
      4. Improved and up-to-date Crew Resource Management security training for pilots and cabin crew to follow new operational security procedures.

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