Standard Policy for Insulin Pumps at Airport Security

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INTRODUCTION
Due to potential damage, insulin pump and CGM manufacturers advise that the medical devices should not be exposed to x-ray screening and full-body airport scanners. Regulations allow passengers with these medical devices to ask for an alternative security screening process, for example a pat-down supported by ETD (explosive trace detection). 

Please click here to see the current statements from the major manufacturers Medtronic, Roche and Freestyle Libre.

To follow our progress, see our Campaign Timeline

There have been many negative experiences at airport security, including our own harrowing experience when my family were held in an airport police room for over 2 hours and denied access to an aircraft due to my son’s insulin pump, which resulted in this global campaign. Please click here to read other passenger's comments.

Our aim is for airport security officers to recognise that insulin pumps and CGMs are medical devices that should NOT go through x-ray machines or full-body airport scanners and should be subject to alternative security screening and that failure to do so could swiftly cause medical consequences.

UK MEDICAL DEVICE AWARENESS CARD
As a direct result of our campaign, a Medical Device Awareness Card sponsored by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Airport Operators Association (AOA), which covers both insulin pumps, Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems (CGMs) and the Freestyle Libre was launched in 2019. The advantage of the live link to the card is that it’s available immediately - you can even download it to your mobile devices at the airport if you have forgotten it. However, I have had 125mm x 85mm double-sided versions of the Medical Device Awareness card printed - the perfect size to tuck in your passport! I am happy to provide the printed card free of charge upon receipt of a stamped addressed envelope (UK only). Please email rachel@mdacard.com for details.

The card was presented at the September 2019 meeting of the Stakeholders Advisory Group on Aviation Security (SAGAS) in Brussels by Jonathan Hogben, Senior Adviser of the Aviation Security Regulation team at the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Details of our campaign and reasons why the card was needed were presented along with the recommendation that the Commission fully endorse the card and Member States consider replicating and disseminating the card through the same means as the UK. We are delighted to say that the Commission gave its endorsement of the card and made a commitment to aid with future dissemination and translation throughout Member States.

LATEST NEWS
The scheme was also presented at an ICAO meeting in early 2020 by the UK CAA and Airports Council International (ACI), as part of a proposal to improve global guidance on security screening for passengers with medical devices. The proposal has since been endorsed by the ICAO Aviation Security Panel and will be included in the next version of the ICAO Security Manual, which is currently in preparation.

The Security Manual is widely used by aviation authorities around the world, and whilst it is not mandatory, it is generally regarded as an authoritative statement of good practice which all states are encouraged to follow. Read more.

We will keep you to-to-date with developments as they happen and would like to thank our friends at the UK Civil Aviation Authority for their tremendous support.

I am also continuing my dialogue with airports, airlines, the NHS and diabetes associations to spread awareness of the correct security protocols.

RACHEL CRAWFORD
Head of Campaign
Email: rachel@mdacard.com
Website: mdacard.com or jdrf.org.uk/airsecurity

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Keep signing and sharing this campaign and if you have a poor experience at airport security, please report it so we can act by emailing me on rachel@mdacard.com with the following information; the airport name, date, approximate time, flight number and a description of what happened.

Feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see updates!