EU authorities to discuss ‘Moscow model’ for airports
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.”