Airport safety U-turn: passengers face 100ml liquids rule once more over tools issues | EUROtoday

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Ministers have ordered an astonishing emergency U-turn on airport safety following issues about new tools that permits passengers to maintain liquids of their hand baggage.

Airports with the brand new scanners have been ordered to reimpose previous guidelines from midnight on Saturday, that means that travellers shall be restricted to carrying 100ml containers.

The Independent understands {that a} vary of issues have been raised in regards to the new tools, which can be in use at abroad airports equivalent to Schiphol in Amsterdam and Shannon in Ireland.

While safety has by no means been compromised, numerous airports utilizing the brand new scanners have skilled lengthy queues attributable to a higher-than-expected rejection price, as safety officers perform hand searches.

The authorities has instructed airports with “next generation security checkpoints” – which had been supposed to finish the trouble of inserting toiletries in clear plastic luggage for separate screening – to revert to the previous guidelines on liquids, aerosols and gels.

“This temporary move is to enable further improvements to be made to the new checkpoint systems and will only affect a small number of passengers,” the Department for Transport (DfT) mentioned in a shock assertion on Friday night. “For most passengers, security measures will remain unchanged.”

It mentioned solely passengers travelling from London City, Newcastle, Leeds Bradford, Aberdeen, Southend, and Teesside airports can be affected.

However, London Luton has the brand new tools in operation, as do some components of Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Stansted. The Independent has requested for clarification.

A DfT spokesperson mentioned: “From 0001 on Sunday 9 June 2024, 100ml restrictions on liquids will temporarily be reintroduced for passengers travelling from six regional airports where Next Generation Security Checkpoints (NGSC) are in full operation.”

The introduction of latest tools had already been lengthy delayed. A goal was set in 2022 to have the scanners in any respect airports from this month, however officers admitted earlier this yr that the deadline wouldn’t be met.

The restrictions had been launched in a single day in 2006 following a liquid bomb plot on a transatlantic flight.

The last-minute transfer comes after Birmingham airport reimposed the previous 100ml restrict following complaints in regards to the size of queues for safety, with some passengers lacking flights. However, the airport says passengers needn’t carry the liquids in a separate bag.

Nick Barton, the chief government of Birmingham airport, mentioned: “Since opening our new security area, and despite being one of the first UK airports to comply, we have been limited on the use of our multimillion-pound equipment due to an outstanding regulatory restriction meaning we had to limit liquids to 100ml. This rule has now been implemented nationwide.

“Despite the 100ml rule still being in place, we continually have non-compliant bags with liquids over the allowance, which have led to inefficiencies of our equipment and resulted in extended queueing time for customers.

“It is now imperative that all customers comply with the nationwide rule, to ensure a smoother and simpler transition through the airport. A non-compliant bag with liquids over 100ml can add up to 20 minutes to each passenger’s journey through security.

“All travelling customers should check their hand luggage to ensure it complies with this restriction.”