The government has given commitments, in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, ‘to make changes to pre-departure checks to better identify people who pose a terrorist threat and prevent them from flying to or from the UK and, in CONTEST, to ‘use secondary legislation to deny airlines authority to carry to the UK foreign national passengers included on our no fly list’.
Our border control systems, such as the visa regime and e-Borders, allow us to check passengers against our watchlists in advance of their arrival in the UK. We have introduced a pre-departure checks scheme to build on these and prevent certain individuals who pose a terrorist threat from travelling to or from the UK. Under the pre-departure checks scheme:
airlines providing passenger information to e-Borders will be denied authority to carry specified foreign nationals to the UK (see below)
directions will be given under the Aviation Security Act 1982 to prevent boarding British nationals who pose a direct terrorist threat to an aircraft
alerts will be sent from the National Border Targeting Centre to ports police to prevent individuals who pose a terrorist threat from boarding flights from the UK
The security and travel bans authority to carry scheme
The scheme came into effect in July 2012. The scheme and related Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (Authority to Carry) Regulations 2012 require air passenger carriers providing data to e-Borders to seek authority to carry all passengers within the scope of the scheme. Carriers who fail to seek authority to carry, or who carry to the UK an individual they were denied authority to carry could face a fine of up to £10,000.
Under the scheme, authority to carry will be refused in respect of the following persons, who would be refused leave to enter at the border:
* EEA nationals (and accompanying/joining third country national family members of EEA nationals) who are the subject of an exclusion or deportation order because they pose a threat to public security
third-country nationals who have been excluded from the UK on grounds of national security
third-country nationals who are the subject of a deportation order on grounds of national security
third-country national who have been or would be refused a visa because of national security
individuals listed by the UN or EU as being subject to travel restrictions due to their association with Al Qaeda or the Taliban