Airports warn ban on liquids must stay

But European Commission says passengers are tired of the ban’s rules and exceptions

On April 29, the European Union is due to partially lift a ban on liquids in hand luggage imposed five years ago. But airports are resisting because they say that technology used for detecting liquid explosives is still not effective enough. They want a full ban to stay in place until at least 2013.
A partial lift on the ban would allow passengers from a third country who are in transit through the EU to carry liquids and gels that have been bought on board a non-European airline or at an airport duty-free shop.
The Airports Council International Europe lobby group and many EU member states’ transportation officials are putting pressure on the European Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas to keep the ban in place.
Kallas, however, is wary of passengers’ frustrations at having to throw away drinks, cosmetics, toothpaste and many food items before going through security.
The restriction, which allows liquids only in small amounts, is in place in the European Union, the United States and many other countries. The EU ban now allows them if purchased at airport duty-free shops either within the EU or in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and Croatia, but airport officials are often accused of not understanding these rules and thieving bottles of expensive perfume or alcohol that passengers have bought in these countries.
The New York Times
[pictured: EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas, courtesy European Commission]

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