EU seeks deal with Israel on cooperation in air safety, traffic management

The European Commission on Tuesday proposed an agreement with Israel on cooperation in air safety, security, traffic management and other issues, to benefit both air travelers and the aviation industry. Western Europe accounts for 54 percent of international air travel to and from Israel, an increasingly popular destination for European tourists, said EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot. He proposed a deal establishing common regulatory standards in safety and security as well as air traffic management, aviation technology, research and industrial cooperation. Barrot said Israel has expressed an interest in a "comprehensive agreement" that would effectively subject its aviation sector to the same regulatory and operating rules as EU air carriers. The EU is working on a similar deal with neighbors in Eastern Europe and North Africa.