European Security Rules Could Extend to Aircraft as Small as VLJs

 - September 20, 2006, 12:14 PM

Europe’s EC2320 requirement for full passenger and crew security screening could be extended to aircraft weighing as little as 2.7 tons (5,952 pounds), according to Brian Humphries, chief executive of the European Business Aviation Association. This would include aircraft as small as some VLJs.

Issuing the warning of the proposed change by the European Commission, Humphries told the British Business and General Aviation Association conference that there is still an opportunity to avoid this extension and even to improve EC2320’s existing requirements now that the rule is to be reissued as framework legislation under European Union law. The original rule was rushed through in the wake of 9/11 and did not meet all the formal requirements for framework legislation. The details of how the rule is enforced in practice are covered by confidential implementation regulations. These are now up for review too.

Humphries said that the EBAA wants to see the actual security risk to business aircraft reconsidered. It has argued that requirements such as locked cockpit doors are not practical on most of these aircraft and that it is illogical to remove nail clippers from passengers who are then going to board aircraft on which they will have access to the emergency axe. He also pointed out that business aviation operators fly in and out of numerous different smaller airports, which are more like Europe’s railroad system, for which there are not currently security controls at each individual station.

The EBAA leader said that his members have no intention of providing shoddy security standards because the need for security is now one of the main reasons people use business aircraft.