Cockpit crew representatives are pressing the Israeli government to scrap its "Code Positive" pilot identification system, claiming that trial operations have shown it to be badly flawed.

"Code Positive", also known as the Security Code System, requires pilots pre-cleared to fly through Israeli airspace to carry an electronic personal identification card and - while in flight - enter a security code to confirm authority to cross the airspace boundary.

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations, however, believes that the potential for flights to be put at risk, either through error or abuse of the system, is too great to justify its implementation.

From an operational perspective, it says, entering the security code amounts to a distraction - and more so if the crew is dealing with a high workload, or approaching Israel from the north through the disputed airspace in the vicinity of Turkey and Cyprus.

Just as importantly, the association adds, there is no guarantee that positive identification is a sign of normality nor that a negative identification means the existence of a threat. IFALPA has expressed concern over the potential response to a false negative identification.

IFALPA estimates that up to 20,000 security cards will need to be issued, with the associated problems of tracking and monitoring them, and the fact that "Code Positive" is public knowledge means the system "must be considered as compromised".

It says that the system offers "at best, a marginal benefit" that is "far outweighed" by the risks. IFALPA is asking the Israeli government to "abandon" the system and engage in talks with the association in order to find alternative options.

Source: Flight International