Monday, February 1, 2016

TSA begins Belgrade Airport checks

US begins final evaluation ahead of Air Serbia flights

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security, is expected to begin its evaluation of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport today. Its outcome will determine whether Air Serbia will be granted a permit for its New York service, set to launch this June. According to the Serbian Directorate of Civil Aviation, the assessment will take five days to complete. Through its foreign airport assessment program, TSA determines whether foreign airports that provide service to the United States are maintaining and carrying out effective security measures. During its assessment, a team of inspectors will use several methods to determine the airport’s level of compliance with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) standards, including conducting interviews with airport officials, examining documents pertaining to the airport’s security measures and conducting a physical inspection of the airport. For example, inspectors are to examine the integrity of fences, lighting and locks by walking the grounds of the airport. Inspectors also make observations on access control procedures.

Last November, the Serbian Prime Minister emphasised the importance of the TSA checks. "Right now the biggest problem is what the US call TSA. There are some things that need to be done at Belgrade Airport. This is something which requires major investment in the airport itself. Air Serbia is more or less ready for these flights but the airport is still not ready. This is something that we need to do", the PM said at the time. Since then, the airport has committed 6.5 million euros into upgrading safety equipment and technology, with the purchase of additional x-ray machines, body scanners, fire trucks, bomb detectors and other screening devices in order for the it to meet the TSA's strict standards.

The United States Department of Transportation has granted Air Serbia rights to operate flights to the United States with its own aircraft and crew but will decide on the airline's permit request after the TSA checks are completed. Meanwhile, Serbia is also attempting to implement one-stop security procedures, a concept of screening people for prohibited items once, at the beginning of their journey only. As a result, passengers that connect at hub airports within the European Union would no longer have to be screened twice: at departure and again when they change flights. Outside of the EU, Montenegro has successfully implemented this procedure, in addition to the United States and Canada. The measure will come into effect for passengers departing Podgorica and Tivat on February 29. However, Serbia still has some way to go until it can be approved by the European Commission for one-stop procedures. Once approved, the measure would, for example, allow passengers originating from EU-member states, as well as Montenegro, to bypass screening at Belgrade Airport when connecting onto Air Serbia's US service.

70 comments:

  1. There is one thing I don't understand. In 2004 Belgrade Airport had flights to New York JFK operated by Uzbekistan Airways. I don't remember US regulators making such a fuss about TSA checks etc back then. I would assume that even in 2004 Belgrade Airport would have had to have been screened by US authorities. But I don't remember BEG investing anything in security back then... Does that have anything to do with the fact that Uzbekistan Airways was operating the flights or not? Just to remind people these were scheduled regular flights not charters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1000

      Amerikanci previše komplikuju, zašto slične provere ne postoje kod Rusa, Nemaca, Britanaca itd, već samo za SAD? Kao da će da se leti na Mesec, a ne na jedan obični aerodrom...

      Delete
    2. Agreed. I don't think there were TSA checks for charters from Pristina to JFK in 2006. What's the deal?

      Delete
    3. Anon 11:00,

      It is a subtle form of government protectionism - something that some posters on this blog think does not exist in the EU and the US...

      Delete
    4. Anon 11:30,

      Yes, the US is trying to protect DL, UA and AA from JU's competition...
      Those 5 flights a week to JFK are a big threat!

      Delete
    5. JU is not the only airline that has to go through this ridiculously harsh approval process. All airlines are in the same position, sometimes even entire countries. JU is insignificant as such. Only your hatred makes it significant and puts it in the spotlight.

      Delete
  2. Serbia being approved for one stop security would be fantastic. Doubt it will happen soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would also be good to have a centralised security check instead of the old-fashioned checks at the gate.

      Delete
    2. They use to have that until 2 years ago. Then they moved security to each individual gate.

      Delete
    3. Wrong. It's been like it is now for many years.

      Delete
    4. Wrong again. They had both a centralised check by passport control, and after that individual ones at each boarding gate. the centralised one has been dismantled 2 years ago.

      Delete
    5. Exactly! And only than they manage to stop some guy bringing CZ99 automatic pistol loaded with bullets on SECOND check, the one in the gate....

      Delete
    6. A small miracle. The second (gate) security was pretty lax, and unlike the first one with airport security, this one was manned by the Police. Expecting that the primary control did its job, I was waved through countless times despite the beeps from the body scanner...

      I always thought that one-stop works only with Schengen countries. That's a really great feature if they manage to do it eventually - but other have asked, how does that relate to US flights? Incoming flights from the US still have to pass security at EU airports. There will be additional security point for sure at US gate at BEG, one-stop or not.

      Therefore, only incoming pax from the EU transfering at BEG with JU, or outgoing pax from BEG flying on foreign carriers, like LH, transfering onto long-haul at MUC or FRA will actually benefit the most.

      Delete
  3. Correct me if I'm wrong but is this the second time the Americans have come to check up on on BEG? Didn't they already come in September last year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes but improvements needed to be made.
      That is why JU didn't get permit on time.

      Delete
    2. Makes sense. Should have realized the airport was the biggest problem. Not surprised seeing who is managing it.

      Delete
    3. You would assume that Belgrade would have been told why they didn't pass the precious inspection so they should pass this time.

      D-Day or (D-month) for June flights.

      Delete
    4. Previous not precious, sorry.

      Delete
  4. Well I hope everything turns out OK so we could finally have tickets on sale next week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Next week? You think that they will grant an approval in 1 week? Have you heard the word "administration"?

      Delete
  5. Is there any way that SL could demand compensation from BEG for failing to be ready on time?
    And thus delaying both the flights start to JFK and even more importantly the sale of tickets months ago?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that would be highly immoral given that JU has been surviving thanks to BEG which has been subsidizing it's existence. I mean, JU can brag about it's 'great' product because of BEG.

      Delete
    2. Wrong. JU is surviving thanks to the Serbian government. BEG is merely the channel through which the money comes to JU.

      In fact, JU has hardly anything to worry about here. TSA would actually do them a favor if they don't give the permit - it would save them a lot of money and the failure wouldn't be their fault. They have no reason to be angry with BEG even for the airport's regular lack of care and agility. The airport is their ATM which works the way it works.

      Delete
    3. Putridly cynical comment.

      But thanks for your "point of view".

      Delete
    4. Why cynical? First part is pure facts, second part I really mean. ASL has no reason to rush BEG because - and I am 100% sure of this - Etihad would not be too upset if the JFK route does not start. Yes, they agreed to do this as a favour to the government but if it does not happen because of BEG they will likely conclude that a little bit of bad PR would be less difficult to handle than financial losses from the transatlantic route that had a late start, late sales, late everything. I do not think the JFK route is "do or die" for ASL. Sure it would be good if they launched it but they will not die without it.

      Delete
    5. Wrong about almost everything

      Delete
    6. Can we hear the right then?

      Delete
    7. The harsh sound of quietness....

      Delete
    8. Дечко ТзарFebruary 2, 2016 at 3:54 AM

      From the early announcement of Etihad-JAT deal, haters’ rhetoric on this site always followed the same repetitive pattern of inventing a fictional event that would, in their minds, stop Air Serbia dead in its tracks. From the onset, haters proclaimed Airbus fleet would never arrive at Belgrade, then when Airbuses started to arrive they failed to take any responsibility for their failed claim and instead continued to generate new fictional barriers against Air Serbia success. As potential USA flights were being discussed, haters claimed Serbia would not get FAA Category I, then when it did they quietly moved on and claimed USA would never sign bilateral with Serbia, and so on ad nauseam.

      Flights to JFK were officially announced back in Nov and pictures of the actual A330 to be used by Air Serbia started to appear, spreading new tsunami of panic among haters. It looks like their new ‘last hope’ in fight against Air Serbia is expectation that flights, even if they do commence, would not be profitable and as a result Etihad would pull the plug on Air Serbia long haul operations. Only someone blinded by hate would not notice massive and painstaking efforts by Air Serbia and EY over the last two years to get this route of the ground (literally!) and make it successful AND profitable in the long run. Haters’ world of hurt is going to get even more painful by June, so my advice is to finally stop irrational hate and embrace reality in which Air Serbia will fly to the USA for many decades to come.

      Delete
    9. @Дечко Тзар

      So no denying whatsoever that ASL is receiving massive subsidies from the Government and the BEG airport.
      Thank you for com firming the obvious! ;)

      Delete
    10. Not subsidies, investment. Spread out over couple of years as explained many times.

      Delete
    11. Actually it is called subsidies.
      Investments it would be if the government was getting shares in return. And the money were given through the issuing of new stock.

      What is being done is the government giving the company money without getting anything in return.

      Delete
    12. Government is getting 51% of the company in return.

      Delete
    13. Actually the Government owned 100% of the company and gave away 49% of it to the Arabs for free.

      Delete
    14. Government owned 100% of the debt of the company before restructuring. No one wanted that company (debt) not even for free. Government took responsibility for the debt and then Etihad and Government started investing in the restructured company, however Government didn't have enought money up front so they are on "installment plan" until the end of this year.

      Delete
  6. BEG recently had a tender for putting up a fence around the airport and it closes sometime in February. So how they going to be successful in these checks if they still haven't got their act together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This could be a problem unless it is accepted by this TSA mob that the fence will be up in time.

      Another issue which was raised here before was how easy it was to access the airport from the hangers on the airport. Doors never been closed / locked was the claim I think?? I remember after 9/11 at Sydney Airport all airport access doors and gates became electronically locked and you needed either a code or a swiping card to open the door. If this was a requirement from the yanks, I'm not too sure but something similar might be required here too?

      Delete
  7. One-stop would be good; that part f transit in BG is a bit annoying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does one-stop work one way Europe to North America or both ways? Arriving passengers from North America to EU are currently going through security check at
      arrival before connecting to another EU flight, so it means two security checks for NA to EU connecting passengers.

      Delete
  8. If the airport had spent 6.5 million EUR into upgrading its equipment and the associated technology, all in order to additionally improve the airport safety and especially security, that should be enough. The auditor's questions might more or less be about the written procedures and the implementation of them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Znaci da ce se karte naci u prodaji verovatno vec sredinom Februara sto i nije kasno bas nebi bilo dobro da jos traje .
    I treba sto pre krenuti sa obnovom Aerodroma da stvarno nebi kocilo ASL .
    INN-NS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I dovesti na Aerodrom SR Technics sto bi doprinelo jos vecom Prihodu Aerodroma.
      INN-NS

      Delete
    2. Mozes li da mi objasnis kako ce rasti prihodi Aerodroma dolaskom SR Technics-a?

      Delete
    3. Ja sam mislio da se pojedinci malo bolje razumeju ali evo objasnjenje .
      Oni Servisiraju sve moguce Tipove Aviona tako da ce cesce dolaziti wide-body Avioni sto ce povecati prihode Aerodroma .
      INN-NS

      Delete
    4. Proslo je vec dosta meseci od kada je najavljen njihov dolazak. Posto se nista je nije culo od onda znaci da nema nista od toga. Valjda imas gram mozga da saberes jedan i jedan.

      Delete
    5. Dovoljno je da pogledas oglase za posao. SR trenutno ima oglase za 12 pozicija u firmi u Beogradu. Toliko o tvom gramu.

      Delete
    6. Dobar vic gospodine da nece doci u BEG kad se spremaju kao sto kaze gore @ 4:11 PM ali opet mora da se kaze nece i da se izmislja.
      INN-NS

      Delete
  10. Why they don't do the same thing they are doing at ZAG? Build a brand new terminal and scrap the old one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A new terminal was built at Belgrade fairly "recently", in the 1980's. As for Zagreb, they had an antiquated airport from the 1960's.

      With current capacity, there's absolutely no need to waste money on a new terminal. smaller additions to terminal 2 will suffice.

      Delete
    2. Why waste money on additions to terminal 2? FRA or FCO service ton of planes including widebodies at remote stands. Pour more concrete at BEG, buy some buses and stairs and you can squeeze 10 million out of Belgrade.

      Delete
    3. Heaven forbid anyone being transported by bus from terminal to aircraft. The passengers would be too upset.

      Delete
    4. An airport isn't just gate space. Check-in, security, and baggage handling are also bottle-necks.

      Delete
  11. Avion iznad Srbije na google maps:
    https://www.google.rs/maps/@43.9756321,20.2672818,275m/data=!3m1!1e3

    ReplyDelete
  12. I would like to add to this topic. The world is an ever changing place. Very different today than from 10 years ago. Let the TSA do the necessary checks and if an unsatisfactory result comes out of it, corrections will have to be made.I live in Canada in a city which borders the US. To be exact YQG bordering DTW for all you code fans. I cross the border frequently for both work and pleasure. Sometimes it can be an easy crossing but most of the times there are long delays. Through the years I have seen many things happen where people have been caught. Illegal crossings, people being sniffed by dogs, people being frisked etc. I have what people have been caught with trying to do. These I won't mention because I feel it may be a security issue itself.
    As for security at the airport, I have flown out of DTW with DL a number of times. Everyone going through security had to take their shoes off, empty their pockets and take their belts off. This all went through the scanner. And once on the other side you retrieved your items. Do I blame them to be strict. No I don't. If BEG doesn't pass the inspection , all I can see is everyone pointing fingers at each other.
    As for the person who commented about protecting the US carriers (protectionism), I highly doubt it. With ASL flying one aircraft with 256 pax 5 times a week, that would only be 133120. With the amount of flights the US carriers have crossing the Atlantic, this would not be of concern. So please get off the high horse. Remember those who hold themselves hi fall down hard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prestani da lupetas gluposti i citaj malo ovaj blog. Delta je bila ulozila zalbu za ASL. Sidji sa toga sto smrces u zaledju Detroita. Koga je TSA sprecio da pocini nesto? Moja cerka je doputovala iz NYC u Pariz sa makazama u kofercetu koji je nosila
      sa sobom, otkrili su na ulasku u avion za Beograd na Sarl de Golu toliko su dobri oni sto gledaj prtljag na skenerima. Rastaviti plasticni pistolj nije nikakva umetnost. Samo je metke teze sakriti.

      Delete
  13. OT: Qatar kupije Meridianu.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jel istina da će er srbija da leti beograd kraljevo nis beograd sa avionom na propelere?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cisto sumnjam, budino realni nema dovoljno potraznje i gradovi su preblizu jedan drugog,linija BEG-INI-BEG ili eventualno i BEG-UZX-BEG bi mozda mogla da upali.

      Delete
    2. I ja bi voleo da imaju Regionalni letovi po srbiji ali to je toliko ne isplativo .
      I sto bi kompanija slala ATR za INI ili KVO kad imaju toliko isplativije Destinacije zato.
      INN-NS

      Delete
  15. Oh come on, how would ASL hurt other US carrieres with its 5 weekly flights? Rubbish! Just grant JU those bloody JFK slots!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BEG must comply with American standards first.

      Delete
  16. ot: Новости од 31 јануара о аеродрому Морава: "Прошле године, по завршетку Дејвис куп меча Србија - Хрватска, који је одигран у Краљеву, најбољи светски тенисер Новак Ђоковић је са овог аеродрома приватним авионом одлетео за Мајами"

    http://www.novosti.rs/вести/насловна/економија.397.html:588725-Avionom-sa-Morave-i-to-za-male-pare

    Ха ха ха која глупост! Ноле је заиста одлетео са тог аеродрома али до Цириха а не Мајамија и то Цесном Prince Aviation! Од Цириха је по мојим сазнањима онда летео комерцијално Свисом А340 до Лос Анђелоса LAX.

    ReplyDelete

Before posting a comment be mindful of other participants and readers. EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. Such comments will be deleted as soon as possible. The opinions expressed by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of EX-YU Aviation News. Thank you for your cooperation.