Israel’s aviation security authority – a good idea foiled

 

By ARIE EGOZI

 

When politicians are involved in choosing an alternative we should always expect the wrong selection. And often, when a politician makes the right one,  another comes along  and prevents its implementation. This is exactly what happened recently in what seemed to be a revolution concerning the security of the Israeli commercial aviation.

The plan to form an Israeli aviation security authority was shelved. El Al will continue to supply the security services for the two other Israeli airlines, Arkia and Israir.

Last November, Israel Katz, the Israeli transport minister, announced that he had prepared a proposal to establish a national authority for air transport security.

Katz said the new Authority will have the responsibility for the security of  Israeli air transport domestically and overseas.

Currently, El Al supplies security services for the other Israeli airlines in foreign destinations.

“The situation in which a private company is responsible for the security of flights of other airlines and competitors is illogical,” Katz said when he presented his plan.


El Al was assigned to supply the security for all the Israeli airlines when it was a state-owned company

The transport minister said he intended to form the structure of the state aviation security authority by the end of March 2011. But opposition from the ministry of finance and lack of backing from prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have buried the initiative.

El Al is continuing to supply the security services to the other Israeli airlines and has indicated that it is not ready to be the security services supplier. However, the government rejected all of El Al’s arguments and ordered it to continue to supply the services. Private airline or not, the government still has power.

As the things stand the plan is buried. Other ideas will be evaluated, but in the meantime El Al will have to continue supplying the services around the world. The mission is complex as an army of security officers are employed to keep the security standards that are part of each Israeli airline’s flight.

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