Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Fourth Report


Joint Declaration on Airport (of 2 December 1987)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain, His Excellency Sr Don Francisco Fernandez Ordonez, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary of the United Kingdom, the Right Honourable Sir Geoffrey Howe, meeting in London on 2 December 1987, taking into account the joint communiqué agreed at Brussels on 27 November 1984 which established a negotiating process between both countries aimed at overcoming all the differences between them over Gibraltar and at promoting cooperation on a mutually beneficial basis on a number of matters including aviation; taking into account also the discussions within the Council of the European Community about the European Commission's proposals for liberalising air transport; understanding, as a result of the conversations which have taken place between the two Ministers, that both Governments consider that greater cooperation over the use of Gibraltar airport will be beneficial for both countries and for the population of Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar; and in view of the fact that application of the European Community air transport policy to Gibraltar airport will mean an increase in its civil use, have agreed the following arrangements:

1. The aeronautical authorities of the two sides will hold regular consultations about all questions relating to the development of the civil use of the airport, including those relating to the establishment of new services to third countries.

Permission for Spanish airlines to operate services between airports of the Kingdom of Spain and Gibraltar, under paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the draft EC Decision on capacity and market access, will be given by the Spanish authorities.

2. The Spanish authorities will build a new terminal at La Linea de la Concepcion adjacent to the northern side of the existing frontier­fence. Passengers using this terminal will have direct access to the airport through a gate in the south side of the terminal.

3. 1. The Spanish terminal will be used by the following categories of passengers:

Passengers from any country, flying in aircraft of any company and of any nationality, whose destination on disembarking is any point on the territory situated to the north of the frontier­fence;

Passengers proceeding from any point of the territory situated to the north of the frontier­fence who embark in aircraft of any company and of any nationality, for any destination.

3.2. The British terminal will be used by all other passengers.

3.3. Where appropriate, passengers will be subject to customs and immigration controls in the respective terminals.

4. 1. A committee will be established to coordinate the civil air transport activities of the British and Spanish terminals and their relation with the airport's other services. The committee will consist of an equal number of members appointed by each Government.

4.2. The arrangements in paragraph 4.1 will be kept under review by the Working Group on Civil Aviation Questions established in 1985 under the auspices of the Anglo/Spanish Coordinators. This Working Group will report regularly to the Coordinators. The reports will contain any recommendations for further cooperation in the use of Gibraltar Airport.

5. The British and Spanish Governments will ensure that effective measures are taken within the existing and new terminals respectively to screen passengers and their carry­on items, and to carry out appropriate checks on crew, cargo and aircraft stores prior to and during boarding. There will be close cooperation between the authorities responsible for security within the two terminals and between them and the existing authorities responsible for security elsewhere at the airport, so as to ensure that the highest standards of security are maintained.

6. There will be continued discussions between the two sides about further strengthening of air safety and traffic control arrangements in the area.

7. The present arrangements and any activity or measure undertaken in applying them or as a consequence of them are understood to be without prejudice to the respective legal positions of Spain and the United Kingdom with regard to the dispute over sovereignty over the territory in which the airport is situated.

8. The above arrangements will come into operation when the British authorities have notified the Spanish authorities that the legislation necessary to give effect to paragraph 3.3 above is in force, or on completion of the construction of the Spanish terminal, whichever is the later, but in any event not more than one year after the notification referred to above.

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Prepared 22 June 1999