EU au­thor­i­ties to dis­cuss ‘Moscow model’ for air­ports

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Na­tional ex­perts will con­sider lessons learnt from ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Moscow and in Madrid in a meet­ing on April 11 to im­prove se­cu­rity at the air­ports and mass pub­lic trans­porta­tion sys­tems in the af­ter­math of the Brus­sels at­tacks, EU of­fi­cials told Eurac­tiv.com.

Mem­ber states and the EU in­sti­tu­tions will look at the lessons learnt from past ter­ror­ist ac­tions in the Do­mode­dovo In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Moscow’s busiest air­port, in 2011 and the com­muter trains in Madrid in 2004.

Fol­low­ing the at­tack in the bag­gage­claim area of Moscow air­port, Rus­sian au­thor­i­ties strength­ened con­trols to ac­cess the ter­mi­nal build­ings.

Mean­while, Spain also in­creased the se­cu­rity mea­sures with CCTV cam­eras and guards in sta­tions and trains af­ter the at­tack, when 191 peo­ple were killed.

A Euro­pean Com­mis­sion spokesper­son ex­plained that th­ese two cases of­fer two prece­dents that could be the ba­sis for the dis­cus­sion in the next few days.

The meet­ing of the land trans­port se­cu­rity ex­perts group (land­sec) is sched­uled for April 11. But given the mag­ni­tude of the at­tacks in Brus­sels on Tues­day, the Com­mis­sion spokesper­son did not rule out that the meet­ing could be brought for­ward, as it was the case last sum­mer fol­low­ing the aborted at­tempt of a mass shoot­ing in a Thalys train.

Al­though an i mpor­tant part of the com­pe­tences in this field re­main in the mem­ber states’ hands, Com­mis­sion of­fi­cials said the in­sti­tu­tion has “ob­vi­ously” a role to play, in par­tic­u­lar in air­port se­cu­rity.

EU rules (regulation 300/2008) set com­mon ba­sic stan­dards to be ap­plied at all EU air­ports, but also qual­ity con­trol obli­ga­tions for mem­ber states to en­sure that all mea­sures are cor­rectly im­ple­mented. The com­mon stan­dards in­clude the ac­cess con­trol and sur­veil­lance in the air­ports.

But a staff work­ing doc­u­ment drafted by Com­mis­sion ex­perts in 2012 pointed out that EU leg­is­la­tion on avi­a­tion se­cu­rity “is de­fined in such a way that the fo­cus is on preven­tion acts of un­law­ful in­ter­fer­ence to air­craft.”

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