Aviation security update

2010 Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation

Two new counterterrorism treaties—the 2010 Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation  and the 2010 Beijing Protocol to the 1971 Hague Convention on the  Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft—were adopted in Beijing,  China, on September 10, 2010. According to the U.S. Department of State the treaties are meant to improve aviation security and “strengthen the existing international counterterrorism legal framework and facilitate the prosecution and extradition of those who seek to commit acts of terror.”

The instruments are a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and criminalize several “new and emerging threats to the safety of civil aviation, including using aircraft as a weapon.”  Also mentioned in the press release is the focus on greater cooperation among stages in  combating terrorism and the continued need to ensure “human rights and fair treatment of terrorist suspects.”

Finally, the 2010 Beijing Convention criminalizes “the transport of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons and related material.”

2nd meeting of the EU’s body scanner task force

The Commission stresses that COM 311 of this year indicates clearly that security scanners have a better detection rate than metal detectors; this is a “very clear conclusion” which can’t be disregarded.

The Commission announces that another impact assessment will be ready ‘early 2011’. After this assessment the Commission wil possibly come with a legislative proposal under comitology.

The ICAO Assembly will give the opportunity to have a ‘global approach’ to airport security.

List of participants at the meeting here.

New UK government response to recommendations of home affairs committee on use of body scanners

According to the government:

“EC regulations currently restrict the use of security scanners to being used as an additional measure once passengers have already been through existing security controls.”

The UK believes that EU regulations should require member states to produce and publish codes of practice which set out how passengers’ rights will be protected under applicable European and national law.

On profiling:

The Government makes an important distinction between ‘profiling’ where passengers are selected on the basis of personal characteristics, possibly in a potentially discriminatory manner and “targeting” where selection is made based on prior information and / or intelligence or on the basis of showing certain behaviours. Behavioural analysis may be one means of doing this.


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