ACI Media Press Release Archives (2006)
|CAPE TOWN – Airport executives from around the world have passed a resolution calling on governments to work together internationally to harmonise the restrictions on liquids in hand luggage, following the introduction of new measures by the European Union (EU) this week.|
Speaking at the ACI annual world assembly in Cape Town, Director General Robert J Aaronson said that while ACI believes that the European Commission has taken a positive step in adopting a uniform approach for Europe, there are still major issues to be resolved internationally. Airports are concerned that without harmonisation the new ruling will have a serious impact on airport facilities and systems, operational processes, passenger service levels and duty-free retail concessions.
As of 6 November, passengers in Europe can take liquid items in cabin luggage, provided the liquid is in containers smaller than 100 millilitres and all containers are able to fit into a transparent sealable bag of no larger than 1 litre. The European rules also say that liquids over 100mls purchased on the same day of travel at airports in Europe are permitted through European security checks. Duty free and other airport retailers will use special tamper proof bags to facilitate this process.
But one constraint that has far reaching implications is that passengers will not be allowed to carry duty free items that have been purchased outside the European Union zone through a European transfer point.
“There is a risk that passengers will be confused by the differences between intra-European and international allowances, and they will certainly be frustrated if items are confiscated at security checkpoints. For concessionaires, it puts duty free sales at a particular disadvantage, and any loss in concessionaire sales will in turn reduce critically needed revenues for airports. At a time when our industry is striving to achieve ever greater efficiency and cost effectiveness, we must energetically address this issue that affects passengers, airports and airlines,” said Aaronson.
Airports around the world are taking action to ensure that passengers are aware of these changes to avoid as much inconvenience as possible. “The good work done by Europe’s airports has limited potential disruption at security lines at this early stage. But these are short term actions and we need long term solutions. We call upon governments to consult with airports, airlines and industry stakeholders and then move urgently to establish a global security framework through ICAO. By harmonising our solutions to security requirements, we address a basic prerequisite for providing the quality service that passengers expect,” Aaronson concluded.