Conservatives call for review of ‘liquids on planes’ security measures

If current measures are shown to be unnecessary, the regulation should be repealed

Strasbourg, 5 September 2007 — Conservative MEPs are calling for a review of legislation that restricts the liquids passengers can carry on aircrafts.

EU rules on the quantity and size of liquids that can be taken on board planes in hand luggage came into force in November 2006 after a terrorist plot to blow up an aircraft using liquid explosives carried in such luggage was uncovered.

Passengers may, in most cases, now only carry 100ml of liquids, gels and aerosols and all containers must be placed in a transparent, re-sealable bag no larger than 20cm by 20cm. Whilst X-ray controls are able to assess volumes of liquid transported, they cannot detect how hazardous the liquids actually are. The European Commission has therefore been asked to conduct research on the appropriateness of security control methods and on how to improve them. If no new facts arise, Conservative MEPs will call for a repeal of the current legislation.

Deputy Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament Sir Robert Atkins MEP said:

“The current measures to restrict liquids on board flights are undoubtedly a great inconvenience for passengers and a huge financial burden for European airport authorities.

Furthermore, because controls are implemented in different ways in different places holidaymakers are all too often left feeling confused and unhappy at these arrangements.

Therefore, it is right that this legislation be urgently reviewed and simplified.”

As well as confusion and delays at airports, the ban has led to widespread confiscation, particularly for passengers whose journeys involve connecting flights.

Passengers coming from outside the EU often find duty free purchases cannot be taken onto their following flight and airports across Europe report large quantities of goods that have to be surrendered. One airport alone has more than 1,000 containers a day left at security by passengers.

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