Updated Charter Ops Security Screening in for Italy – Part 2: Screening Procedures
This is a post by author Stefano Bruno. Stefano is the station manager for Universal Aviation Italy, which has Fixed-Base Operator (FBO) and ground support locations at Rome (LIRA), Venice (LIPZ), Milan-Linate (LIML), and Milan-Malpensa (LIMC). Stefano is an expert on business aircraft operations in Italy. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled "Updated Charter Ops Security Screening for Italy – Part 1: New Requirements."
As of early February 2015, additional security screening inspections have been implemented for certain international scheduled commercial, and air taxi General Aviation (GA) charter (non-scheduled commercial) arrivals to Italy. While these additional security steps add about 10-15 minutes to the arrival Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) process, they may cause longer clearance delays in certain cases. Briefing passengers on these new procedures, as well as potential arrival clearance delays, is suggested.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Screening on arrival
Italian authorities have advised that they’ll have sufficient airport police personnel at all airports of entry, to handle the new screening procedure during all normal airport hours. This new screening procedure is done just prior to customs inspection. All luggage must be off-loaded, put on baggage carts, and taken to a designated police inspection point which may be at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), the main terminal, or the local police office at the airport. Luggage will then be inspected and passengers interviewed. In some cases passengers/crew members may undergo enhanced personal inspection, prior to clearing CIQ. Note that at some airports (Venice [LIPZ] is a good example) you may now need to proceed to the main terminal for security inspection, rather than clearing CIQ in the GAT as had been the case previously.
2. Tech stop considerations
When making international tech stops in Italy, charter operators not arriving from within the EU/Schengen zone are subject to these new security screening requirements when departing from specific airports (see our Part 1 article for those countries). This means that all luggage may need to be removed from the aircraft for screening, at the designated airport police screening area, and passengers/crew members may be subject to security questioning. It’s at the discretion of authorities if this process will be performed on aircraft which are only performing a tech stop in Italy.
This, of course, has the potential to delay international tech stop turn-arounds. In practice, however, airport police authorities often may choose not to require security screening of luggage and passengers/crew members just for simple tech stops and if passengers/crew members do not leave the secure airside area. If you’re planning an international tech stop in Italy, with a charter aircraft, it’s best to talk with your ground handler about applicable security screening requirements and procedures.
3. Potential delays
If an airport does not have operational X-ray screening equipment, luggage may need to be physically screened, and this takes longer. There may also be delays in cases of aircraft with large amounts of onboard luggage. If additional inspection of a particular passenger/crew member is required, and a screening agent of the same gender is not available, delays are also likely.
4. Screening exemptions
All applicable flights, meeting the requirements of new enhanced security inspections in Italy, are subject to luggage and personnel screening. Air ambulance and qualifying diplomatic flights, however, are a different case. Security screening will likely be accomplished at the aircraft in the case of air ambulance operations. Diplomatic flights, normally, will not be subject to these new security requirements.
5. Aircraft inspections
Inspection of arriving GA aircraft is standard operating procedure for international arrivals into Italy from specific non-EU, non-Schengen countries with the exception of aircraft arriving directly from the U.S.
It’s been an Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) and European Union (EU) Council requirement since 2010 (EU 185/2010) that aircraft documentation be reviewed and recorded for private non-revenue and charter aircraft arrivals unless the aircraft is in an exempt category.
While new Italian security procedures for international charter arrivals are considered temporary, no one knows at this time how long they’ll be in place. Charter operators should brief their passengers of security screening requirements when arriving from certain countries and associated time needed to complete this step.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Italy, contact me at email@example.com.