Consultation Alert

 

Consultation on Regulation EC300/2008 - Aviation Security Derogations

 

The DfT have issued a consultation document for derogations on the new EU regulation on baseline standards for aviation security, which is important to UK GA airfields and operations. The consultation can be found here and has a response deadline of 3rd March 2010. If the right level of derogation is not made, small airfields and perhaps even strips could be saddled with the same level of security , as is currently required at major airports! Because this is so important individual responses to the consultation will be important.

 

The EU regulation demands all the security measures that are  currently in place at main airports.  They include security fencing, control of access, airside screening, guarding and so on.  Nations are allowed to exempt certain aerodromes by means of a derogation and this is the key point we need to address.  Four options are offered:

 

Option 1 (no derogation) would be disastrous for UK GA and should certainly be strongly opposed by all.

 

Options, 2, 3 and 4 all exempt fields at which only aircraft below 15000 kg MTOW operate. Option 3 would also allow helicopters at derogated fields. Industry responses may well favour Option 4 which in addition will permit business aircraft up to 45,500kg (i.e. most bizjets). The LAA believes that Option 4 is the most appropriate as many GA fields need business from helicopters and bizjets to remain viable.

 

The consultation also requests views as to the level of ‘alternative security measures’ appropriate for an aerodrome at which derogation from European baseline security provisions is permitted. The key issue for all LAA members is that fields and strips catering only for microlights, light aircraft, helicopters and gliders should not have any burdensome security measures imposed. DfT have stated that they will consult the EU about the ‘starting point’ at the lower end of the weight range.

 

It is essential that a range of alternative measures appropriate to the specific field (the ‘local risk assessment’) is used, and that a light touch is used at the lower end of the weight scale. The final detail both of the local assessment arrangements, and the type of measures proposed (fencing, etc.) will make all the difference. LAA members may wish to copy any specific concerns and issues to myself as representative on the DfT TRANSEC GA Working Group.

 

James Tannock
LAA Vice Chair

February 2010