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Pilots plot air raid on Jacqui over ID cards

Compulsory cards not fair

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Pilots organisation Balpa is considering legal action against the Home Office for forcing its members to carry ID cards.

As part of Wacky Jacqui's ID card trial airside workers and pilots at Manchester and City of London airports will have to carry the cards in order to get airside.

A spokesman for Balpa (the British Airline Pilots Association) said: "We're talking to lawyers now. When the law was passed by Parliament it was on the basis that carrying the cards would be voluntary - that will no longer be the case for pilots."

There are increasing rumours that the ID card scheme might get kicked into the long grass as a cost-cutting measure. A Tory victory at the next election is also meant to kill off the cards.

Balpa has already dismissed the cards as a security gimmick, and told managers at Manchester and City airports that its members would not carry the cards.

The UK's major airlines are also opposed to ID cards. They said of the trial: "The UK aviation industry is being used for political purposes on a project which has questionable public support."

The Home Office is also trialling the cards for foreign residents, but rather more slowly than planned - at the end of March it had issued 22,500 cards rather than the 40,000 to 50,000 it hoped to have out the door. ®

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