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Common EU Regulations in the field of civil aviation security

04 December 2009
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 04 December 2009

This Regulation sets common rules in the field of civil aviation security and mechanisms for monitoring compliance, with the aim of guaranteeing security in air transport and protecting persons and goods within the European Union.



Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002.


This Regulation reforms the existing rules on air transport security in order to simplify, harmonise and clarify them, with the aim of increasing security levels.

The adoption of security measures must be simplified in order to adapt them to evolving risk assessments and allow new technologies to be introduced. The new Regulation lays down the basic principles without going into the technical details.

As such the Regulation lays down the common basic standards in the areas of access control to airports, screening of passengers and baggage (cabin and hold), controls for cargo, mail and in-flight supplies, in order to prevent prohibited articles from being introduced on board aircraft. The Regulation also lays down the common basic standards on in-flight security measures, staff recruitment and training, as well as on security equipment.

There is a provision, for example, that each airplane shall be searched before departure and that the persons responsible for security screening will receive suitable training and, where appropriate, will be certified. Member States retain the option to place security officers on board aircraft. These officers must be government personnel who are specially selected and trained.

Implementation and Control

Each Member State must establish a national security programme on civil aviation and designate a single authority responsible for the coordination and monitoring of the implementation of security standards. Each Member State must also establish a national quality control programme on civil aviation security. Each airport operator, air carrier and body responsible for applying the security standards must also draw up a security programme.

The rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the common standards shall be determined by the Member State, who must also take measures necessary to ensure they are implemented. Member States can choose to apply stricter measures than those laid down in the Regulation.

In cooperation with the appropriate authority, the Commission shall carry out unannounced inspections of airports and operators. Afterwards the Commission shall send a report to the Member State concerned, which should respond by setting out the measures taken to remedy any identified deficiencies. Furthermore, the Commission shall compile an annual report on the application of the Regulation and its impact on improving civil aviation security.

Relations with third countries

The Commission would like to advance the goal of ‘one-stop security’for all flights between the European Union and third countries. If third countries apply aviation security standards equivalent to the Community’s standards it should not be necessary to re-screen passengers and their baggage arriving from these countries. In this regard agreements between the Community and third countries could be envisaged.


Following the attacks on 11 September 2001, the Community strengthened all of the standards regarding aviation security in the Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002 which came into force in January 2003. This new Regulation draws from the experience gained since then to further improve security in the civil aviation sector and repeals the previous act.


Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 [adoption: COD/2008/0045] - 29.4.2008 - OJ L 97 of 9.4.2008

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