Standard Policy for Insulin Pumps at Airport Security
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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.
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.
To follow our progress, see our Campaign Timeline.
The Head of Security at ACI World successfully presented our issue to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which advises on global standards and recommended practices. Updated guidance material was then included in the 10th edition of ICAO’s Security Manual (Doc8973) released in September 2017.
Airports Council International (ACI) published a full-page article called “Best practice for screening of insulin pumps” in their World Report, which was sent to their 590+ members operating 1,850+ airports in 170+ countries. See article.
NEW 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 and Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems (CGMs) was launched on 13 February 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 email@example.com for details.
The Medical Device Awareness card initiative is being submitted at the next ICAO working group, the UN specialised aviation agency that works with 193 Member States.
I also contacted the Director-General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission and it has been confirmed that we will be presenting the Medical Device Awareness Card at the next EU Regulatory Committee meeting which will be held on 11/12 September 2019. Our aim is for the Commission to endorse the card for EU wide use, for the translation of the card into all the official EU languages and for it to be available through their official website.
Both of the above will help international air travel become easier and less stressful for those who wear an insulin pump, CGM or Freestyle Libre.
I am continuing my dialogue with airports, airlines, the NHS and diabetes associations to spread awareness of the correct security protocols.
My thanks again to the UK CAA for supporting me in my quest.
Head of Campaign
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information; the airport name, date, approximate time, flight number and a description of what happened.
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