04 October 2001 | Liam O'Brien
Airline industry procurement departments are reviewing procedures for the issuing of uniforms in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the US.
Concerns about the effectiveness of existing security measures were heightened shortly after the strikes when a man carrying a Yemeni passport was arrested in Toronto while trying to fly to Chicago with an illegal passport and airline uniforms.
The British Airports Authority has since tightened what it believes was an already strict regime. Only members of staff with access to a special code can order uniforms from its electronic catalogue. And once personnel leave, uniforms must be returned and destroyed.
British Airways, whose uniform security was penetrated late last year when a News of the World reporter obtained a pilot's uniform from a BA supplier and gained access to a hangar at Heathrow, said it had stopped suppliers selling its uniforms to third parties.
And BMI British Midland said it keeps its uniforms in a locked facility away from the airport and issues them only to those carrying special passes.
Police forces, which have stepped up uniformed security at UK airports since the attacks, claim existing arrangements are strict enough. Uniform manufacturers are obliged to supply police authorities only.