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Identity Cards: Airports

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions she has had with the union Prospect on the decision to introduce compulsory identity cards for airside workers in the aviation sector. (275793)

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Meg Hillier) met with union representatives, led by the TUC and including Prospect, to discuss identity cards for airside workers on 10 September 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of airside workers at each airport who will be required to carry identity cards once the pilot schemes are implemented nationally. (275794)

We have agreed with Manchester and London City airports that the initial requirement to obtain an identity card will be placed on new airside workers only. Therefore the number of identity cards issued will depend on the levels of recruitment taking place at the airport for new airside employees.

The wider UK population will have the opportunity to apply for identity cards from 2011-12 when we start to enrol British citizens at high volumes, offering a choice of receiving a separate identity card, passport or both. Currently, over 5 million passports are issued per year.

The Identity Cards Act 2006 specifically prohibits making the carrying of an identity card compulsory.