EU to hold aviation security meeting on March 31

European Union experts will
next week discuss ways of strengthening security in airports
after the attacks in Brussels on Tuesday that killed at least 31
people, an EU official said.

At least 10 were killed by two bombs at Zaventem airport,
the main one in the Brussels area. The attackers accessed the
airport without passing security checks, which in Europe usually
only take place after check-in.

The European Commission, the EU executive arm, will host a
meeting of aviation security experts from the 28 EU states on
March 31, an EU Commission official said. A meeting of land
transport security experts would be held on April 11.

There is no defined agenda for the meetings at the moment,
but the Commission official ruled out stricter measures being
imposed at EU level.

“Security is a national prerogative,” the official said.
“The Commission will not impose on a small airport in Finland
the same security measures that may be required for major hubs
such as Brussels or Paris.”

Asked whether security scanners may be installed at airport
entrances, the official said that would be a decision to be
taken by national authorities.

Adding landside screening at airports might be costly and
not improve security, the trade association of European
airports, ACI Europe, said.

“(It) could be disruptive and actually create new security
vulnerabilities” as earlier checks would simply move the target
of attacks, it said in a statement.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio, editing by Julia Fioretti
and John Stonestreet)

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