Waterlooville mum’s call for clearer airport health protocols set to be addressed by UN

Rachel Humphrey and son George
Rachel Humphrey and son George

South Central Ambulance Service holding forum event

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A MOTHER’S campaign to reinforce health protocols at airports worldwide is set to reach the United Nations.

Rachel Humphrey, from Waterlooville, was due to fly home from Dubai airport with her husband and son George, who has insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes.

When a security officer ordered George to disconnect his insulin pump for an x-ray scan, his mother argued that the radiation could cause potentially dangerous inteference with the pump’s motors.

The family were detained by airport police for two hours, which inspired Mrs Humphrey to launch a campaign to ensure that proper protocols are in place at all airports.

With more than 5,000 supporters – and the attention of prime minister Theresa May – the campaign has reached ICAO, the UN’s agency for aviation, for its consideration.

This is following communication with Andrew Haines, chief executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, as well as Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Airport Operators’ Association.

Mrs Humphrey said: ‘My correspondence with both Mr Haines and Mr Caplan demonstrates that there is appropriate protocol in place.

‘However, the comments received from insulin pump users on our petition page reveal indisputable evidence that confusion regarding insulin pumps at airport security is prevalent and a global issue, which not only causes stress but can also have swift medical consequences.

‘The simple answer is for awareness of the relevant protocols to be reiterated to airport security officers.’

Mr Haines confirms that a process is in place in the UK, where all passengers who opt out of being screened by a security scanner may request an alternative screening method.

He explained: ‘The regulations which set down the methods available to airports for screening passengers and their cabin baggage include options for when a passenger either prefers not to submit to a particular screening process, or is simply unable to do so for safety or other reasons.’

Airports Council International will be presenting the issue to ICAO’s aviation security panel in May, requesting that it is included in global guidance material.