Skip to main content
EU Science Hub

Aviation security

The JRC border security research supports the Commission's plans for strong civil aviation security through the protection of persons and goods from unlawful interference.

Contributes to EC priorities:

Since 2002, the European Commission has established and implemented common rules in the field of civil aviation security aimed at protecting individuals and goods from unlawful interference. The JRC supports the implementation of EU legislation on civil aviation security, primarily by developing test materials to verify the performance of screening equipment.

ETD equipment
Explosive Trace Detection test kit


How are testing materials relevant for aviation security

How does JRC contribute

JRC applies its long-standing expertise in reliable measurements and testing to help the Commission and EU Member States to implement EU aviation security legislation. The main activities include:

  • Supporting the implementation of common EU rules for aviation security through the development and provision of harmonized test methods and materials for threat detection equipment. In its dedicated laboratories, JRC develops specialised test kits and provides training to European aviation security inspectors and airports.
  • Providing independent technical support and scientific advice to security stakeholders on aspects of threats, detection equipment, policy and measurement science.
  • Supporting non-aviation security practitioners working with explosives and chemical detection equipment with harmonised test materials, training and scientific advice.
  • Performing experimental studies on explosives, precursors and other threats in support of EU policies. 


geographical map ETD training courses
Countries that have attended the training course at JRC Geel on the use of the EC ETD test kit

JRC also supports EU security policies in fields outside aviation security, such as law enforcement, custom and border control and the protection of public spaces.

Who are the main stakeholders

With an estimated 1 billion EU air passengers each year, the main stakeholders of JRC’s support to aviation security are citizens making use of EU civil airports. On a professional level, the stakeholders are:

  • Commission’s aviation security inspectors

  • EU Member States’ appropriate authorities

  • EFTA (European Free Trade Association) surveillance authorities

  • European airports

  • ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference)

  • manufacturers of detection equipment

Contact us

To find out more about the JRC's work on similar topics, explore the related JRC portfolios: