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Swiss back global aviation safety plan

Airport security has been a major issue since the September 11 attacks on the US Keystone Archive

Switzerland has signed up to a plan to strengthen aviation security in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

This content was published on February 21, 2002 - 08:33

At a two-day conference in Montreal, aviation ministers from 187 nations approved a mandatory global audit of airport and aircraft security, to be carried out by the United Nations's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Switzerland and the other member states also endorsed proposals to tighten security, including the strengthening of cockpit doors and the screening of all passenger baggage.

"We still need to determine exactly what the new security measures will be, but that can only happen after the worldwide audit has given us a clearer picture of the current situation in every member state," Urs Haldimann, head of international affairs at the Federal Civil Aviation Office, told swissinfo.

Funding

However, the deadline for implementing the planned measures has yet to be finalised, owing mainly to outstanding questions regarding funding.

"The safety equipment has to be financed and manufactured, so we do need some time to put these measures into action," said Haldimann, adding that in Switzerland costs were financed by an airport charge.

"Ultimately it's the consumer who pays - and we think this is the right way to go about it," he said.

Individual member states are ultimately responsible for the implementation of safety measures in their airports and on their aircraft. In Switzerland, a fine would be imposed on companies that failed to carry out the measures.

swissinfo

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