The two main industry bodies representing Europe's airports and airlines have agreed to collaborate in a long-term joint initiative on security. The security committees of the Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe) and the Association of European Airlines (AEA), meeting together in Madrid, have announced the European Strategic Partnership for Aviation Security (ESPAS) to address shortcomings in the current system.
The post 9/11 environment, the Madrid and London bombings, the recent events in the UK and the subsequent adoption last week of new security measures across Europe, underlines the need for an effective, risk-based, sustainable approach to aviation security. The current pan-European security framework is the result of a complex regulatory system involving national, EU and pan-European rule makers.
Through the ESPAS platform, airports and airlines will seek to establish a common industry security policy and act jointly with European rule makers to remedy shortcomings in the current system to provide coherent, workable security measures that benefit both industry and the travelling public alike.
Commenting on the news, Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI Europe said: "We welcome recent moves by the European Commission to harmonise the existing framework, but too often, new security measures, rather than address what is probable, address what is possible. Such a method is untargeted, inefficient and unsustainable. Any new security rule should focus specifically on the threat or risk that needs to be eliminated, taking account of the impact on passenger mobility and convenience, operations and cost."
Said AEA Secretary General Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus: "The interface between airlines and airports is the point at which security has to be at its most effective - and at its most efficient. As rules proliferate, they impact not only the way airlines and airports do business, but the way they do business with each other. The ESPAS partnership represents a natural coalition, and I am confident that our work together will assist the policy-makers and serve the best interests of our passengers".