EC PROPOSES EUROPEAN-WIDE AVIATION SECURITY RULES
The European Commission proposed on Wednesday the adoption and enforcement of common European Union security rules for civil aviation to replace the current regime controlled by national governments in Europe.
“The terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on Sept. 11 show that the (EU) member States now all face the same terrorist threat and must therefore formulate a collective response based on common preventive measures,” the Brussels-based body said.
The EC proposed to incorporate into an EU law the main measures developed within the European Civil Aviation Conference.
The law would replace “a number of measures which until now were no more than cooperation arrangements,” the EC said.
The EC also proposed a collective mechanism for the control of the proper application of these measures, and said that it plans to propose international measures to ensure the protection of EU citizens throughout the world.
“The security of European citizens must be guaranteed,” said Loyola de Palacio, commission vice-president for energy and transport. “Only the uniform, effective application of security measures will enable all Europeans to continue to have confidence in EU skies and airports.”
The proposed common rules would be based on the rules set out in Document 30 of the European Civil Aviation Conference and would chiefly be concerned with:
* Control of access to sensitive areas of airports and aircraft;
* Control of passengers and their hand luggage;
* Control and monitoring of hold luggage;
* Control of cargo and mail;
* Training of ground staff;
* Definition of specifications for the equipment for the above controls;
* And classification of weapons and others items which it is prohibited to bring on to aircraft or into the sensitive areas of airports.
In its draft regulation, the EC proposed that in future the mechanism for controlling the application of these rules should be based on the establishment of “a quality control system for each operator and airport which will be implemented by a national authority designated by the member states.” The systems set up by the national authorities will themselves be monitored by trained multinational teams of inspectors backed up by a small inspection body set up within the Commission.