In May, the Transport Committee of the European Parliament took a first important step reviewing the European Commission's proposal for a Regulation on Aviation Security. In voting on this proposal, the Parliamentarians took on board several of ECA's key concerns, thereby strengthening and improving the proposed draft Regulation.
In general, the Parliament followed the Commission's line to produce a more flexible Regulation. This will allow for quick changes in the technical specifications in response to fast changing security situations. The Committee also adopted a large number of amendments aimed at increasing for example the transparency and efficiency of the system.
Ahead of the vote, ECA was very active in explaining Parliamentarians how best to improve the Regulation. Among others, ECA had insisted on the formal establishment of a "Stakeholders Advisory Group". Such a group would allow industry representatives - including pilots - to give advice and input to the Commission when new implementing legislation is drafted. This measure will improve the transparency of the whole system and ensure the pilots' voice is heard. The Parliamentarians agreed and took on board this ECA demand.
ECA also asked for in-flight security to be included in the future Regulation, and supported that the Commission and Member States clearly define EU responsibilities in the field of in-flight security. ECA stressed that, in doing so, it is necessary to recognise and enshrine the crucial role the Captain plays for security on board. Again, many members of the Parliament took on board our suggestions and proposed amendments. Overall, these amendments were supported with a very large majority, thereby increasing the chance that they will survive in the remaining legislative process.
The position of the Transport Committee will be voted by the EP Plenary in mid June. It will then go to the Council of Ministers where the EU Member States will review the Commission's proposal as amended by the Parliament. ECA and its Member Associations will have to continue their work to ensure that the achievements made until now are supported also by the Council of Ministers. ECA's Security Working Group will serve as a key forum to organise pilot representation vis-à-vis each EU Member State, and we welcome the active participation of all our ECA Member Associations in this Working Group!