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U.S. and U.K. Relax Airline Restrictions

September 25, 2006

U.S. and U.K. Relax Airline Restrictions
Sept. 25, 2006 – The U.S. Transportation Security Administration announced today that it is partially lifting its ban against carrying liquids and gels onto airliners. Liquids bought in secure areas of the airport will be allowed and travelers will be able to bring some toiletries in quart-sized freezer bags. Security requirements were adjusted following a plot to bomb jets flying into the United States was foiled in August.

"We now know enough to say that a total ban is no longer needed from a security point of view," said Kip Hawley, head of the Transportation Security Administration, at a news conference at Reagan National Airport.

According to CNN, Hawley said that most liquids and gels that air travelers purchase in secure areas of airports will now be allowed on planes. He called the new procedures a "common sense" approach that would maintain a high level of security at airports but ease conditions for passengers.

The new procedures go into effect on Tuesday, Hawley said.

Items such as lip gloss and hand lotion have been confiscated at security checkpoints. Now, these products will be limited to 3-ounce sizes and must fit in a clear, 1-quart size plastic bag. The bags will be screened and returned if they are cleared.

"Obviously, there’s been a lot of unhappiness," said Richard Marchi, senior adviser to the Airports Council International, an airport trade group. "They’re right to find a way to ease the burden and maintain a reasonable level of security."

Last week, the United Kingdom also announced changes to the U.K.’s security measures. According to the Department of Transport, all passengers originating at a U.K. airport and those transferring from international flights at a U.K. airport are required to be aware of the following:

Cabin Baggage
ONE item only of cabin baggage is permitted through the airport security search point, the dimensions of this item must not exceed: a maximum length of 56 cm, width of 45 cm and depth of 25 cm (including wheels, handles, side pockets etc.). Other bags, such as handbags, may be carried within the single item of cabin baggage. All items carried by passengers will be x-ray screened.

Mobility aids
Pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs are permitted but will be screened.

No liquids of any type are permitted through the airport security search point, other than the following items:

Essential medicines in liquid form sufficient and essential for the flight (e.g. diabetic kit), as long as it is verified as authentic. Medicines in solid form continue to be permitted. Baby milk and liquid baby food (the contents of each bottle or jar must be tasted by the accompanying passenger).

To help their progress through search points, passengers are advised not to include in their cabin baggage.

NOTE: The definition of liquids includes gels, pastes, lotions, liquid/solid mixtures and the contents of pressurised containers, e.g. toothpaste, hair gel, drinks, soups, syrups, perfume, deodorant, shaving foam, aerosols, etc.

Large electrical items / Laptops
Laptops and other large electrical items (e.g. a large hairdryer) have to be removed from cabin baggage and screened separately. (Note: a laptop bag will be regarded as your one item that is allowed in the cabin).

Musical instruments
Musical instruments which do not fit in the permitted cabin baggage size (maximum length of 56 cm, width of 45 cm and depth of 25 cm (including wheels, handles, side pockets etc.)) are allowed as a second item of cabin baggage, and will need to be screened. Larger instruments (e.g. cellos) are also permitted into the cabin following screening. However, passengers should check with their airlines if special arrangements (e.g. purchasing an extra seat) for these large instruments need to be made.

Oversized baggage
All other items of oversized luggage are required to be placed in the aircraft hold.

Flights to the U.S.
Passengers boarding flights to the United States and items they are carrying, including those acquired after the central screening point, will be subjected to secondary search at the gate. Any liquids discovered will be removed from the passenger.

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