Frequently asked questions for ID passes

For more information, please read our ID Centre guidance notes. All passes are now managed through our online portal MTrust.

We've pulled together a list of frequently asked questions:


What are the different types of pass?

1-5 day temporary identity pass.
Consecutive 1-5 day identity passes will not be issued though people can have more than one temporary identity pass if they visit the airport on an irregular basis, e.g. irregular essential maintenance work, emergency ad hoc collections and deliveries, work experience placements, interviews or short-term pharmacy cover. Temporary pass-holders must be escorted by a permanent identity pass-holder at all times when in restricted zones.

30-day temporary identity pass
30-day temporary ID passes bear a photograph of the holder and may only be extended for a second 30-day period in exceptional circumstances. These passes are intended for issue for those planning to work for a third party, for a limited duration or for visitors to a business whose attendance will be for over five days but less than 30 days. Applications for this type of pass must be accompanied by employment references covering the previous 12 months. Temporary pass-holders must be escorted by a nominated permanent identity pass holder at all times when in restricted zones.

Permanent restricted zone identity pass
Permanent ID passes are valid for up to five years and permit access to the areas authorised by the card on an unescorted basis. All permanent identity passes will become suspended (parked) after 60 days of non-use.

Landside-only passes
Landside-only passes are available for employees who never require access to restricted and controlled zones (landside) but otherwise work in the airport campus. Landside-only passes may be programmed to grant access to certain car parks or controlled access areas within landside offices or administration areas. The referencing process and criminal records check is not required for landside pass applications.

Why can't I have a red pass?

The colour codes of ID passes are determined by the DfT and red passes are reserved for a few selected occupations.

Why can't I automatically have access to Zone 3 (baggage make-up area)?

Access to the baggage make-up area is only given to those who have to carry out duties or visit that area. If access to the baggage make-up area has been requested, additional information must be provided before access can be allocated.

 Who is an authorised signatory?

An authorised signatory is someone nominated by the company to manage the application for and manage ID passes under the terms of the ID scheme. To became an authorised signatory, your organisation must be a member of the ID scheme and you have to be nominated using the authorised signatory nomination form.

What is the role of the authorised signatory?

  • Authorised signatories manage the ID pass scheme within their own company or section of the business. They are responsible for ensuring that relevant information about ID pass-holders or applicants is passed to the ID Centre and is kept up to date.
  • For new applications they have a responsibility for obtaining references and other documents (e.g. criminal record checks). They are also responsible for verifying aspects of each application.
  • Authorised signatories do not necessarily have to carry out each and every task themselves. They may have help from those responsible for referencing and other processes within their company. They should always ensure that relevant communications are passed to other appropriate people within their own businesses – for example HR departments, senior managers, etc.

What documents are needed when our applicants apply for a pass?

You will be required to complete an application form for each applicant. Forms may be downloaded from the ID forms page. You must also provide:

  • Satisfactory references covering the last five years' employment history must accompany the application for a full pass. Only original documents are accepted.
  • A valid and current criminal record check (basic disclosure certificate) is required (this must be submitted within 10 weeks of the issue date).
  • The applicant must provide proof of identity to the ID Centre at the time of pass issue.
  • For British nationals this is a current full passport or a UK photographic driving licence with counterpart (both full and provisional acceptable).
  • For EEC/EEA nationals a current valid passport or national identity card is required.
  • For other nationals, a full valid passport together with an original document confirming the right to remain in the UK and evidence of the right to work in the UK will be required: in some cases a visa should be presented.
  • Proof of identity is required when applicants go to the ID Centre for the final stage of application. Only original documents are acceptable and these must be the same documents as those presented to the authorised signatory during the security interview.
  • For all applications, details and evidence of a national insurance number must be provided, e.g. P60, P45 or NI card.

How many references does an applicant for an airside pass require?

A minimum of two references must accompany the application. One or more employment references must cover the previous full five years' employment or education history. Any gaps in employment must be verified by references from the appropriate agency (for example Jobcentre Plus for periods of unemployment, or an accountant or the HM Revenue & Customs for periods of self-employment).

If this five-year period is validated by only one employment reference (i.e. continuous employment for five years) then a second character/personal reference is necessary.

In cases where the applicant has neither worked, nor claimed benefit during the previous five years (for example, a carer or a previously non-working partner returning to employment), then a gap reference and personal reference is needed.

What about self-employment or periods of unemployment?

Periods of self-employment must be validated by a confirmation from the applicant's accountant, solicitor or HMRC office. The Job Centre Plus or other appropriate government agency must verify periods of registered unemployment. Any gaps of over 28 days must be covered by a reference from an individual (gap referee) who should be asked to confirm in writing how long they have known the applicant and, to the best of their knowledge, what the applicant was doing during the gap period in question. The recommended pro-forma reference request for employment should be used.

What information should gap references include?

A pro-forma reference request for gap references is available from the application forms section. This should be used with your own company's letterhead. It is particularly important that all contact names, addresses and telephone numbers are clearly legible and accurate. All references should be requested so that they are addressed to and sent direct to the prospective employer at his or her company.

What else will be required with the application?

All permanent ID pass applicants must undergo a criminal record check or CRC (basic disclosure certificate). These statements disclose any prior unspent convictions. Certain convictions disqualify the applicant from holding a permanent identity pass. It is the responsibility of the authorised signatory to ensure that the CRC is presented within its period of validity (currently 10 weeks) and is free of all disqualifying endorsements. A new CRC is required at each ID renewal date (normally every five years). Some types of employment may require a counter terrorist check – a more detailed security screening. Further details Full details are given in the

How do I obtain criminal record checks for our employees and new applicants?

Further information is available from Disclosure Scotland

It is recommended that employers adopt a procedure whereby the application form should be completed by the applicant and sent direct to Disclosure Scotland. On return of the basic disclosure certificate (which will be sent to the applicant direct), the applicant should give the original certificate to the authorised signatory. The basic disclosure certificate must be presented to the ID Centre within 10 weeks of the date of issue. Disclosure Scotland operates an online service for applications which may be used by participating companies. Companies that need a number of applications to be made should consider registering with Disclosure Scotland.

Arrangements can be made for presentation of the disclosure certificate direct to the ID Centre by the applicant if required.

The basic disclosure certificate always remains the property of the applicant.

What happens when a pass-holder's details change?

The ID Centre must be informed of any changes to an individual's pass or ID record. A reissue or revalidation form should be completed for any of the following reasons:

  • change of appearance
  • company name or logo change
  • change of company prefix (normally for internal company transfers)
  • change of name or job title
  • change of home address or telephone number.

Requests for changes of access requirements should also be submitted on the change of ID pass details form. The authorised signatory must sign a declaration confirming their agreement and consent to the changes to being made.

How can I obtain a temporary pass for visitors or short-term assignment staff?

A 1-5 day identity pass is available and a 30-day temporary ID pass is available. Go to ID Pass regulations.

How can I apply for landside-only (white) passes?

'Landside' covers non-sensitive areas of the airport. Landside-only ID passes do not permit access to restricted zones. The application process is the same as that for full ID application and the same proof of identity requirements exist but references and criminal record check are not mandatory. Landside applications are issued at the ID Centre and you are not required to send application forms in advance. Applicants must take the application forms when attending the appointment at the ID Centre. Landside ID passes may be required where access is required to landside buildings or car parking where the relevant access control system is in place.

How can I obtain a vehicle pass to allow a vehicle 'airside'?

Companies that need access for their vehicles must first obtain a licence to operate vehicles. Permanent vehicle passes are issued for one year. All vehicles entering the restricted zone or controlled areas must have aviation insurance cover of not less than £50 million. Limited duration vehicle passes carry the same insurance requirements and are only applicable for vehicles that require occasional or very irregular airside access. All vehicles must be identifiable either by means of company livery or by removable transfers/signage on the side of the vehicle. Detailed vehicle emission standards are required and stringent MOT or safety inspection certificates are enforced. All drivers must have an airside driving permit or be accompanied at all times in the vehicle by an airside driving permit holder.

For more information and to apply for an airside driving permit, please contact :

Airdat on www.airdat.org 
01227 200066 option 3 

What happens if an ID pass is lost or stolen?

The loss of an ID pass is a serious matter and must be reported immediately to the ID Centre on 0844 335 6886, or if out of hours, to the control centre on 01293 501636. To obtain a replacement card the lost/stolen ID pass replacement form must be completed and signed by the authorised signatory.

Can I appeal against a decision not to issue a permanent ID pass?

Appeals may be made in certain circumstances.

  • To Disclosure Scotland (http://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk) where you or the applicant believe that the information on the CRC is incorrect or inaccurate – for example, when an offence should be "spent". Your appeal must be made direct to Disclosure Scotland.
  • To the ID Centre when the decision to issue a pass is disputed for some other reason (e.g. references where the applicant claims it is not practical to obtain a reference and has submitted other evidence to substantiate what he or she was doing at that time). Appeals must be in writing – original documents should be submitted.
  • To Transec DfT: In certain circumstances, appeal can be made to the DfT against a failed criminal record check on the basis of how recent or the seriousness of the conviction. A form is available. Details of the appeals process is in the application standard.