Airports criticise sudden re-introduction of 100ml liquids limits | EUROtoday

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Airports have criticised the federal government’s sudden re-introduction of 100ml limits on liquids in hand baggage final weekend.

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) stated it had left airports “frustrated” and created uncertainty and confusion for passengers because the busiest time of 12 months approached.

After putting in high-tech new scanning gear, some regional airports had scrapped liquid restrictions. Major hubs had not but totally switched to the brand new guidelines, however are rolling out the machines.

The transport secretary has insisted the re-imposition of the previous limits is “temporary’” however it’s unclear how lengthy the scenario will final.

The authorities requires all UK airports to improve to “next generation” safety.

New scanners which produce 3D photographs ought to imply liquids as much as two litres and laptops may be saved in hand baggage to undergo safety.

The likes of Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester had been allowed to overlook the most recent deadline for putting in them – 1 June this 12 months – after varied logistical challenges.

However London City, Teesside, Newcastle, Leeds-Bradford, Aberdeen and Southend had complied on time and dropped the previous liquids guidelines – some as early as Spring final 12 months.

Birmingham accomplished its set up however was advised to maintain the 100ml restrict whereas ready for regulatory approval.

But on Friday, an surprising announcement from the Department for Transport (DFT) stated that from Sunday, liquids, gels and pastes may as soon as once more solely be taken by means of airport safety in containers of 100ml or much less.

The DFT stated it was not in response to a selected risk, however “to enable further improvements to be made to the new checkpoint systems”.

The sudden change brought about consternation amongst airport bosses, who had been solely knowledgeable on the Friday.

Karen Dee, chief govt of commerce physique the Airport Operators Association, stated lots of of thousands and thousands of kilos had been being spent on a “huge” programme of change, as instructed by the federal government.

She stated airports supported selections on safety, however Friday’s “surprise” announcement “was sprung on us with very little time to react”, and this “created uncertainty for passengers just as airports enter their busiest periods of the year”.

“It has also put airport operators in a challenging position, with very limited time to prepare for the additional staffing and wider resources that this will require, and no clear idea of when this issue will be resolved.”

Airports who had totally switched the brand new techniques and have educated and rostered their employees accordingly, are most affected, unable to make use of the costly, new gear to its full potential.

The change is known to have led to extra gadgets being rejected or confiscated as passengers have turned up anticipating to be allowed to take bigger containers by means of.

Some bigger airports who had been solely half approach by means of their roll-outs had been utilizing the brand new scanners in some areas so have additionally needed to rapidly alter methods of working.

Thirty airport bosses, together with the AOA, have collectively written to the transport secretary, aviation minister and civil servants as we speak in response to Friday’s announcement.

Among the questions they need answering are how the choice was taken, what it means for airports who’re part-way by means of their roll-out – with implications for workers coaching programmes – and the way lengthy the reversion to the 100ml restrict will final.

Ms Dee stated airports had been doing all they might to mitigate the impression. She requested passengers to return ready to adjust to the liquid restrict till suggested in any other case.

The DFT has been approached for remark.