Non-EU Airline Security Measures to be Harmonized with EU Regulations

Juan Francisco Falcón.

28/11/2007 International Law Office, n.º 21


On October 26 2007 the government approved a royal decree to harmonize security measures required for airlines of non-EU countries wishing to operate in Spain with those applicable to EU member airlines.

The new regulations are aimed at increasing levels of security and protection for passengers in the aviation sector by verifying the technical and commercial capabilities of relevant airlines prior to their commencing operations in Spain.

For this purpose the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will monitor and check:

  • the capability and competence of such airlines to run aviation services in accordance with the security requirements set forth in the annexes to the International Civil Aviation Convention;
  • that the relevant airlines have set up security regimes which effectively protect civil aviation activities from illegal interference in accordance with EU regulations;
  • the effective protection of passengers and third parties through appropriate civil liability insurance; and
  • compliance with applicable environmental regulations - in relation to the level of noise pollution - in particular.

Following this verification process the CAA will, if applicable, issue the corresponding certificate of security compliance to the relevant airline. The certificate will be issued for an indefinite period, although it may be issued conditionally, suspended or withdrawn:

  • in case of subsequent breach of any conditions imposed by the authorities;
  • if the relevant documentation is not properly updated; or
  • failure to comply with applicable aviation regulations.

The decree complies with obligations imposed by EU regulations applicable to air transportation in general and will undoubtedly increase the level of control over Spanish aviation operations.