European officials consider new air travel security guideli

Hotel News - 21/09/2009

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The ban on carrying liquids aboard flights, introduced as a security measure after a transatlantic bomb plot was discovered in 2006, has caused passengers much inconvenience in recent times.

European security officials are now reported to be considering lifting this ban for some airports in 2012, followed by easing restrictions at others in 2014. Technology companies say machines capable of recongising dangerous liquids could help to eliminate these restrictions altogether.

The aTix scanner, already in use at Heathrow and some other major airports is said to require only a software update to be able to detect liquid bombs.

Technology companies have urged the commission to lift restrictions following live scanner trials with machines capable of detecting suspect liquids. One machine already in use at Heathrow and other major airports, the aTix scanner, only requires a software upgrade to be capable of detecting liquid bombs.

Secutiry officials met at Brussels last week, to discuss proposals for easing airport restrictions and replacing them with other measures. There will be further consultation before any proposals are presented to the European parliament ahead of April 30 2010, when currently safety regulations will expire.

Proposals include measures like lifting the liquid ban in 2012, at large airports that serve more than 10 million passengers annually. Smaller airports would have to wait until 2014.

Staggering the lifting of liquid bans could, however, lead to some confusion in air travel. Passengers flying between large airports and smaller facilities would, for example, be allowed to carry liquids on one leg of their flight, but one the other.

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