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No more security screening, baggage checks for Singapore travellers who transit in Europe

[SINGAPORE] Travellers from Singapore flying through Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam will no longer be subjected to security checks during transit.

Their checked luggage and hand-carry items will not be screened either, paving the way for less stress and hassle, said the European Commission on Tuesday.

The One-Stop Security arrangement with Singapore, which is based on mutual recognition of security screening rules, is the first between Europe and an Asian nation.

The plan is to progressively add other airports, including London and Frankfurt, to the scheme.

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The tie-up will improve transfer connections made by passengers at the respective airports and increase the efficiency of airline and airport operations, said the European Commission and Singapore's Transport Ministry in a joint statement.

This will bring benefits to air travellers and business and industry stakeholders flying between Singapore and Europe, the statement added.

The partnership affirms the commitment between Singapore and the European Commission to strengthen international cooperation to enhance civil aviation security, as well as passenger, airline and airport facilitation in line with international standards, the parties said.

It is also a good example of how to strengthen aviation security rules globally and contribute to the sustainability of air travel, as endorsed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, and develop trustworthy relations with international partners, the statement added.

The partnership took about two years to cement, and was sealed in a deal on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow 2018 at Changi Exhibition Centre. The deal was signed by the Transport Ministry's permanent secretary Loh Ngai Seng and the European Commission's director-general for mobility and transport, Mr Henrik Hololei.

Mr Hololei told The Straits Times: "(The deal) strengthens international aviation security while at the same time increasing the quality of passengers' journeys, and decreasing costs for airports and airlines."

Apart from Singapore, Europe has a similar arrangement with the United States, Canada and Montenegro in South-east Europe.

Talks are ongoing with Israel and Serbia.

THE STRAITS TIMES