Home Office Still Confident About ID Cards Scheme Success

The Home Office has denied any scaled back plans as identity cards are expected to be deployed at only two airports in the first stage of the controversial project.

Staff working at London City and Manchester City airports will be issued with ID cards which will become compulsory for all employees working in sensitive sectors.

The pilot scheme will last 18-month before it is rolled out across all airports in the United Kingdom in 2010 at a cost of £30, for up to 200000 airport staff.

Speaking to the telegraph, the Chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service said that the initial introduction of these ID cards will be a "major step in Britain's National Identity Scheme program".

All foreign nationals living and working in the country will be required to carry the ID card by the end of the year although this may not apply to some categories like foreign flight crews or sport teams.

The card will contain details of all 10 fingerprints as well as digital snapshots of the card holder; the data which will be held on a microchip will then be regularly synced with the National Identity Register.

Critics have been vocal about the flaws of the system, saying that the introduction of an ID card will mean fewer checks and would not necessarily improve security.

ZDNet says that members of the British Air Transport Association (BATA) will not be participating voluntarily in the scheme, fearing that they would be used as guinea pigs (or crash test dummies).

More than 40,000 cards are expected to be in use by early next year although the future of the programme altogether is in jeopardy as the Conservative have already expressed their opposition to it.