Aviation security rules: European Commission to increase transparency

The majority of rules relating to aviation security will be made available to the public, the European Commission has decided today. The publication of the EU list of prohibited articles will make it easier for passengers to know what they can – and cannot – take on board an aircraft, while it increases transparency of EU rules in this domain. This decision will not change the existing legislation relating to aviation security. Rather, the primary aim is to place a significant proportion of the rules – which have until now not been officially published – into the public domain, whilst not compromising aviation security.Information on articles that are currently prohibited from being carried by passengers in their cabin baggage or hold baggage was until now only available through airlines or airports. Due to opinion of Advocate General Sharpston in Case C-345/06 (Heinrich) the Commission was forced to find a quick solution for passengers.The existing Commission Regulation No 622/2003/EC laying down measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security and its subsequent amendments are repealed and replaced by two legislative acts, a Commission Regulation and a Commission Decision. All those elements of the existing rules that can be placed in the public domain without adversely prejudicing aviation security are in the Regulation, whereas the Decision contains those elements which are deemed sensitive to place in the public domain. An example of what will be contained in the Decision (and thus not made public) is the minimum performance standards of security screening equipment used at airports.Besides, the adoption of the Regulation and Decision addresses the wishes that were expressed on several occasions by the European Parliament.The Regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union (and thus available via the official website ). In addition, it will be placed on the European Commission’s Transport website:The Decision is addressed to the Member States, who will be responsible of making available the elements contained in the Decision to duly authorised persons on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. This respects Regulation No 2320/2002/EC establishing common rules in the field of civil aviation security which requires in Article 8 both that certain measures “shall be kept secret and not published” and that the national authorities shall make available the rules on aviation security to parties on a need-to-know basis.Source: curia.eu and europa.eu/rapidStephan Keiler

Leave a Comment