Do Pilots Go Through Airport Security?

I’ve been traveling a lot lately, and I never see pilots and steward/essess in line with me. What gives? Who says they’re safe esp. when one just got busted for being drunk on the job? Or, the ones who forgot to land! [How high were they flying? ;)] So, are they immume and assumed safe and wholesome saints?

They get to skip the line, but yes, they do.

Absolutely pilots go through the security checkpoint. Here, in fact, is a column from written by a pilot. The particular column to which I’ve linked is one in which he relates the experience of having his metal silverware confiscated at the checkpoint, even though this is the same silverware provided by an airline on an overseas flight.

Most airports will have VIP/Diplomatic/Crew lines for security and customs, which are usually off to the side of the regular ones, from what I’ve seen.

Additionally, (at least in Australia), pilots and everyone else who has access to secure areas of an airport undergoes security screening as a requirement of their employment

So although they aren’t “assumed safe and wholesome saints”, they are assumed to be safer than the average passenger owing to this security requirement.

There’s also the point that confiscating someone’s pocket knife and checking his shoes for explosives…then handing him the controls of a 500-ton fuel-laden jumbo jet, is a bit pointless.

Having to get security screened up to several time per workday is one of the major quality of life beefs of working pilots / flight attendants.

The motivation for screening is mostly to detect would-be imposters, not to detect real pilots bringing weapons in to hijack their own plane with. So in that sense the screening is sound.

But it sure is frustrating. One more thing I don’t miss since I stopped flying.

That and the .40 caliper semi automatic some of them carry.

Stop, or I’ll measure you!

How dare you sir!!!

Common sense pronouncements like that have NO place in THE WAR AGAINST TERROR!!!

Yes, the main cause was the crash of Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771.

It might have made sense then, but now some pilots are permitted to carry guns are they not? Not to mention the handy little crash axe in the cockpit.

I’m using a MS mind reader for spell checking so shoot me. :slight_smile:

The funniest thing I saw was in Alice Springs, changing planes. There was a USAF Galaxy C5A on the tarmac. The people ahead of us in line were 2 US Air Force people in flight suits - those overalls with the zippers everywhere, and I’m sure steel-toe boots as well. Fortunately, they lets us go through screening ahead of them, but they did have to go through security.

They’re “armed forces”!!!

Security Expert Bruce Schneier discussed this issue on his blog awhile back

This issue is no different than searching airplane pilots, something that regularly elicits howls of laughter among amateur security watchers. What they don’t realize is that the issue is not whether we should trust pilots, airplane maintenance technicians or people with clearances. The issue is whether we should trust people who are dressed as pilots, wear airplane-maintenance-tech IDs or claim to have clearances.

We have two choices: Either build an infrastructure to verify their claims, or assume that they’re false. And with apologies to pilots, maintenance techs and people with clearances, it’s cheaper, easier and more secure to search you all.

Why dress up as a pilot when you can just take a catering truck through?

What about people who just work on the other side of the checkpoint? Janitors, baristas, till workers at McDonald’s, etc? Do they have to go through security every day as a fun precursor to work?


Well, I would kinda hope there’s an infrastructure to verify their claims somewhere along the line, though.

Did you read the article that I linked to?

Of course there is infrastructure somewhere along the line. The question is whether we want to implement that at the airport. That turns out to be a more complicated (actually a much more complicated) undertaking than it might first appear. Allowing people with a pilot id through would provide an exploitable hole in the security system because it turns out to be kind of hard to guard against impostor pilots.