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Northwest Flight 253: Update

8-Jan-2010 9:19 AM

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Director General, Andrew Herdman, cautioned (07-Jan-2010) against overreaction by authorities to the Northwest Airlines Flight 253 security incident, stating that additional security measures are only justified when it can be demonstrated that the benefits outweigh the additional burdens they impose on society. AAPA stated there is insufficient evidence regarding the effectiveness of full body scanners and automatic explosive detection systems to justify their immediate deployment. The association stressed the "critical importance of effective intelligence gathering and analysis" rather than focusing on passenger screening. [more]

Norway's Oslo Airport informed (06-Jan-2010) owner, Avinor, that the company is willing to test new security technology. Any trial period will take place in cooperation with the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority. [more]

Belgian Secretary of State for Transport, Etiennne Schouppe, stated existing security measures at European airports are already sufficiently strict, and introduction of new requirements and technologies is “excessive” (AP, 07-Jan-2010).

Board of Airline Representatives of Australia stated the cost of introducing full-body scanners at Australian airports would be passed onto passengers through higher security charges (The Australian, 08-Jan-2010). Security charges at Australian airports range from USD3.20 to USD5.05 per passenger.

Board of Airline Representatives of Australia: "Certainly it is a high-cost solution and it will add quite considerably to aviation security charges if the government decrees that all the current walk-through metal detectors have to be replaced by these body scanners," Warren Bennett, Executive Director. Source: The Australian, 08-Jan-2010.

Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) confirmed full body scanners will be installed at Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa and Venice airports within the next three months (Xinhua, 08-Jan-2010). ENAC is expected to invest EUR2 million to acquire ten devices.

Spanish Transport Minister, Jose Blanco, called for a common European position on the use of new security measures and technology at European airports, even if a binding regulation is not introduced, but cautioned that governments should be open to other measures apart from full body scanners (AFP, 07-Jan-2010). The EU Regulatory Committee for Civil Aviation Security met in Brussels on 06-Jan-2010.

Spanish Transport Ministry: "It's better for Europe to have a common position because it makes no sense for European passengers to travel from London to Madrid and back and have different kinds of controls," Jose Blanco, Transport Minister. Source: AFP, 07-Jan-2010.