Europe finalises common aviation security measures

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Europe finalises common aviation security measures

Post  Admin on Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:29 pm

Europe finalises common aviation security measures

Victoria Moores, London (11Jan08, 18:22 GMT)


Members of the European Parliament and Council have struck a final civil aviation security deal, tackling subjects such as common security standards, sky marshals and the payment of security costs.

Europe is seeking to ensure high aviation security levels by establishing common rules and standards. Today’s agreement paves the way for a new EU regulation, which will be put before the full Parliament in March. If adopted, the Parliament says the regulation will take effect two years after its entry into force.

As part of the agreement, the Parliament and Council have established strict rules for States that use sky marshals.

The Parliament says: “This is the first time that in-flight security measures, for example restricting access to the cockpit or dealing with unruly passengers, have been addressed at EU level.

“Parliament and the Council agreed that those member States that deploy in-flight security officers must ensure that they are specially selected and trained. Strict rules for sky marshals were a crucial point for Parliament at the first and second readings.

“Weapons must not be carried on board an aircraft, with the exception of those carried in the hold, unless the requisite security conditions have been fulfilled in accordance with national laws and authorisation has been given by the States involved.”

The regulation text also addresses common security measures, covering topics such as passenger and hand luggage screening, airport access and aircraft checks. Member States can apply more stringent measures, provided they are relevant, objective, non-discriminatory and proportional to risk levels, says the Parliament.

Aviation security cost sharing is also covered. Member States will have responsibility for security cost sharing, establishing whether charges should be State-funded or met by the airports, airlines or other stake holders. Specific rules will be outlined in a European Commission report to be released by year-end.

European Parliament transport committee chairman Paolo Costa says: “The necessity of new security measures that are implemented quickly and effectively is undoubted. I am glad that we found an agreement which will increase security and balance anti-terrorism measures and passengers’ rights.”

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