Airside pass – the contractors’ guide

airside pass for contractors

If you are looking for work as a contractor in the travel industry then you may be required to obtain an ‘Airside pass’. 

This is a pass showing that you have been checked for identity and trustworthiness and that you are suitable for working in what is a very sensitive area.

As travellers, we can all appreciate the need for heightened security around aircraft and so the airside pass is a response to the need to ensure that this is maintained at as high a level as possible.

In this post we’re looking at;

  • What is an airside pass?
  • What checks are needed for an airside pass?
  • What disqualifies you from getting an airside pass?
  • How do you get an airside pass?

What is an airside pass?

An airside pass is a method of restricting entry to secure areas of an airport. Usually a key fob or card, the pass is presented to an electronic reader that checks identity against a database and records movement through the facility only allowing entry to secure sections of an airport to authorised persons.

The pass is only issued once the employee or contractor has passed a stringent vetting procedure.

What checks are needed for an airside pass?

There are a series of checks needed to obtain an airside pass and these are standardised across the airport operators.

Some of these are standard checks that would be needed anyway for working in the UK and some are more detailed due to the sensitive nature of the work.

The first check is that of identity. You need to prove that you are who you say you are.

You’ll also need to give your addresses for the last five years and these will be checked to show their accuracy.

A Disclosure and Barring Service check into criminal records will also be carried out to show any unspent convictions.

You will also need to give five years’ worth of work history with an explanation for any gaps and these references will also be checked. If you have been a contractor then you’ll need to give a work reference of someone who can vouch for this. This could include your accountant or solicitor if they have assisted with your business.

And to ensure that there is no possibility of undue influence being brought to bear, a credit check will also be carried out.

What disqualifies you from getting an airside pass?

Certain convictions will disqualify people from getting an airside pass automatically.

The CAA specifically identify the following criminal conviction categories;

  • Any convictions directly related to terrorism
  • Offences against people
  • Sexual offences
  • Convictions that may be inappropriate for someone working in the aviation industry (e.g. immigration offences)
  • Convictions over which someone could be subject to undue influence/coercion
  • Convictions that call into question an individual’s integrity and trustworthiness

This is not an exhaustive list and you can find out more in the CAA’s own publication that you can download here.

Many of these offences are obviously inappropriate for someone working with aircraft such as terrorism or immigration type offences. Others go to general trustworthiness, so people with convictions for perjury or unauthorised modification of computer material are also barred.

It should be noted that the airside pass disqualification is based on unspent convictions.

In other words, if you have been convicted of an offence in one of the above categories but your conviction is now spent and filtered out then you can still apply.

How do you get an airside pass?

Only accredited employers can provide you with an airside pass.

It is not possible to get one yourself.

If you are an employer who needs a quick, easy and cost-effective way to carry out the background checking procedure then Checkback is here to help.

Fill in the “Request a callback” form and we’ll get right back to you.