In what could be the first clash over the Governments intention to introduce ID cards and make it mandatory for airline pilots to carry them, the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) has vowed to step up its opposition.

BALPA has written to the management of Manchester airport and London City airport - the first two locations selected by the Government to introduce the ID card to airside workers - and warned that pilots would not cooperate with the introduction of the ID card.

Seperately, in its submission to the Government's consultation on the ID card which ended on Friday ( February 13) BALPA warns of the difficulties that will ensue when pilots who refuse to register for the ID card lose their jobs.

Jim McAuslan, General Secretary of BALPA told the airport managements at Manchester and London City that they would be in the hot seat over this legislation and that pilots totally oppose what the Government is trying to force airport managements to do. He sent them a copy of BALPA's submission to the Government.

In this submission BALPA says: 'ID cards will have absolutely no value as far as security is concerned.'

It says of government attempts to force pilots to have ID cards 'this is nothing but coercion. Promises that ID cards would be voluntary have been broken.'

The Association says that forcing pilots to have ID cards 'is an affront to the people who for years have been, and continue to be at the forefront in the battle against terrorist outrages.'

'Your case that this will improve security has not been made. Indeed, it is clear, that you now recognise this as you claim that it will only make a contribution.'

And BALPA asks: 'what happens when the first airport worker refuses to register for an ID card? Our understanding from the draft regulations is ...that the individual will be out of a job. This could be an individual who has served his or her country as a Service pilot being told they are not now trusted. This is both unacceptable and demeaning and we will resist.'

Further information: Keith Bill 020 8656 0860 or 07968 528 527

Links - http://www.ips.gov.uk/identity