Investigation launched into how airport bag scanners missed training  

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By Lisa James
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An investigation is under way after bag scanners at Birmingham Airport were found to have missed training.

The BBC reports at least two managers working for the contractor Mitie were sacked for ‘allowing untrained staff’ to screen luggage before it was loaded onto aircraft.

The managers were accused of falsifying training records and failing to supervise exams. The BBC said ‘dozens’ of Mitie staff had missed their training.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is understood to be investigating the allegations, which relate to about 40 out of 120 Mitie staff members. The staff, who screen hold luggage that is checked in by passengers, failed to attend refresher training they are required to do every 13 months.

The BBC said it’s seen internal emails showing concerns were raised about training requirements by supervisors at Mitie as early as May 2022.

The CAA carried out an unplanned inspection of the airport in January 2023 and took files away. Birmingham Airport then instructed Mitie to deliver full retraining to agents, supervisors and duty managers.

The BBC added that, in August last year, two of Mitie’s duty managers were sacked for gross misconduct, although one told the BBC he denied any wrongdoing.

Birmingham Airport has not responded to a request for a comment by Travel Gossip, but an airport spokesman told the BBC the safety of customers was its top priority and it informed the CAA immediately after issues became apparent through compliance monitoring.

The statement added all passengers were screened and searched by its own security, with Mitie responsible for screening check-in luggage only.

“At no point did our third-party security contractor screen and search customers,” the spokesman said.

Mitie said it had carried out an investigation and made all employees complete the full five-day training course again.

In a statement it said: “We have strict professional standards, including ensuring that all our colleagues have the correct training and accreditation needed to carry out their role safely.

“Any colleagues who do not uphold these standards have no place in our business.”

The CAA said it could not comment on individual cases.

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