In our December 2018 blog, we highlighted the European Union’s (EU) intention to beef up aviation security (AVSEC) requirements related to insider threat. The specifics have recently been published by the Commission, together with a few other noteworthy changes in EU AVSEC regulations. Most of the following amendments entered into force on February 1st:

  • Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGs) that can be bought in airport shops prior to security screening and are packed in Security Tamper Evident Bags (STEBS) are no longer exempt from screening. Bottles of wine or body oil of more than 100 ml purchased before the checkpoint must now either be placed in hold luggage or screened separately with designated screening equipment.
  • For hold baggage screening, the following countries have been added to the list of states with security standards deemed equivalent to those in the EU: Canada, Montenegro, Republic of Singapore (Singapore Changi Airport) and the State of Israel (Ben Gurion International Airport). This means that hold baggage from these countries will not have to be rescreened upon arrival in the EU (provided it doesn’t leave the restricted area).
  • Stricter security requirements will apply to EU Member States that have “derogated” from the common baseline, which should mainly impact very small or seasonal airports.
  • Shoe Explosive Detection (SED) and Explosive Vapour Detection (EVD) equipment can now be used for screening (as a supplementary screening capability). This change in regulation diversifies the screening options available to airports and provides an opportunity for solution providers to present their SED/EVD products in the market.
  • Airports will be required to implement additional measures to counter insider threat through enhanced background check and other activities, to include:
  1. Airport staff working in specifically sensitive areas of the airport now need to undergo an enhanced background check on top of basic background verifications. Concretely, this includes a check against relevant government watch lists.
  2. New recruits may receive training with a basic background check. However, they cannot start working until the enhanced background check has been completed.
  3. The requirement of (enhanced) background checks has expanded to staff that has “unescorted access to air cargo and mail, air carrier mail and air carrier material, in-flight supplies and airport supplies”.
  4. Member States are encouraged to share information among themselves to evaluate relevant information.
  5. Enhanced background checks need to be repeated at least every year.
  6. Security staff will be tested for mental and physical abilities and aptitudes.
  7. Recruitment records including assessment results must be kept for the entire period of the contract for the relevant individuals/.
  8. Airports are to establish internal policies and measures to enhance staff awareness and to promote security culture.
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