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EU To Increase Transparency On Aviation Security Rules

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

13 August 2008

The majority of rules relating to aviation security will be made available to the public, the European Commission decided on Friday.

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 increasing transparency of EU rules in this domain.

The EC explained last week that 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.

Antonio Tajani, Commission Vice-President in charge of transport stated that:

“When the Commission adopted its implementing rules on aviation security it was decided – with the support of the Member States – to keep them all out of the public domain for security reasons. Five years on, the experience we have gained enables us to have greater transparency without prejudicing security. When in place, this will be yet another positive step for the benefit of passengers travelling in Europe.”

Information on articles that are currently prohibited from being carried by passengers in their cabin or hold baggage was until now available through airlines or airports. The European Commission had already published this information in 2004 and 2006.

The existing Commission Regulation (EC) No 622/2003 laying down measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security and its subsequent amendments have been repealed and replaced by two legislative acts, a Commission Regulation and a Commission Decision.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 too 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.

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