Thursday, 26 April 2007

AirMarshals on EU flights

Do not swear. Do not look behind your back. Do not make any hectic moves. AirMarshal is somewhere around you...
Annoying to know that there will be one ticket less for sale and one more reason to be watched. This security craze is ridiculous...

Agence France Presse -
25 April 2007 Strasbourg

EU lawmakers backed on Wednesday the use of armed "sky marshals" on flights in the 27-nation bloc, but required them to operate under strict conditions.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, the European Union adopted joint rules for checking air passengers, their baggage, freight, mail and flight and ground crews.
At the end of last year, member states also gave themselves the option of using sky marshals.
While agreeing to the use of such armed security officers, the European Parliament required them to be properly trained and insisted that they cannot carry a weapon "unless the required security conditions have been fulfilled."
The country of departure, arrival and any other country in between would also have to give their approval to sky marshals being used.
The parliament also wants any special security measures, such as a ban on liquids, to expire after six months unless they are deemed necessary following a review of security risks, the costs and the impact.
New limits on transporting liquids and creams in the EU came into force in November after British authorities announced in August that they had foiled an alleged plot to blow up US-bound airliners using liquid explosives smuggled aboard.
Lawmakers also voted in favour of the costs of security measures to be covered by passengers and governments and that any more stringent measures be borne entirely by the member states.
"This is a reasonable approach, taking into account the protection of airline customers', the industry's and the member states' interests," said Italian Liberal Democrat Paolo Costa, who drew up the text.
The parliament and EU member states will have to try to hammer out new plans bridging differences on several key points, such as who should bear the costs of security measures.
Once that is done, common, basic security standards on such things as security controls and banned items could go into effect at the end of the year, while the rest of the package could take effect in 2009.

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