Since 2002 the European Commission has established common rules in the field of civil aviation security aimed at protecting persons and goods from unlawful interference with civil aircraft.
Regulation (EC) N°300/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council lays down common rules and basic standards on aviation security and procedures to monitor the implementation of the common rules and standards. It replaced the initial framework Regulation N° 2320/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council in order to meet evolving risks and to allow new technologies to be introduced.
Common basic standards comprise:
- screening of passengers, cabin baggage and hold baggage
- airport security (access control, surveillance)
- aircraft security checks and searches
- screening of cargo and mail
- screening of airport supplies
- staff recruitment and training
Member States must ensure that they
- designate a single authority competent for aviation security
- set up a national civil aviation security programme
- set up a national quality control programme
- define and implement an airport security programme
- define and implement an air carrier's security programme
Since 2009 several Regulations have supplemented Regulation (E) N° 300/2008 as regards liquids, aerosols and gels, the use of security scanners, the adoption of alternative security measures, controls of air cargo internally as well as internationally and the specifications of national quality control programmes.
In 2016 the whole set of previous implementing legislation was updated: Commission implementing Regulation (EC) N° 2015/1998 lays down detailed measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security.
Commission Regulation (EU) N°72/2010 lays down procedures for conducting Commission inspections in the field of aviation security.
The common rules in the field of civil aviation security apply also to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
The Regulation allows for the recognition of equivalence of security measures of third countries, which can open the door to the establishment of one-stop security arrangements between the EU and non-EU countries such as in the case of the United States, Canada and Montenegro.
The European aviation security policy is based upon close coordination with Member States and stakeholders. The Commission participates effectively in all relevant events of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and is fully engaged with key third country partners and regional organisations.