Switzerland has adopted new European Union aviation security rules restricting the amount of liquids passengers may take on board planes.This content was published on October 5, 2006 - 16:13
The Federal Civil Aviation Office said the new Europe-wide security measures adopted on Thursday should come into force from November, while stricter limits governing the size of hand luggage will enter into force in six months' time.
The new regulations allow passengers to carry on small toiletry items such as toothpaste, contact lens solution and perfume, but not large drink containers, except those purchased after security checks.
The Swiss federal authorities said they had taken this decision as they were convinced that aviation security rules had to be coordinated across Europe. The regulations were originally proposed last week by experts from EU member states and were backed by the European Commission.
The new restrictions were speeded through following a temporary ban on liquids and gels after the security alert at London's Heathrow airport on August 10. British authorities said they foiled an alleged plot to bomb flights to the United States using liquid explosives.
Passengers will be allowed to bring on board one resealable transparent plastic bag of a maximum size of one litre in which liquid items could be stored. Liquids would have to fit into containers that were 100 ml or smaller. Certain exceptions will apply for medicines, baby food and other dietary needs.
The plastic bag containing any liquids will have to be presented separately during security checks, as will portable computers and large electrical equipment.
But passengers will still be allowed to purchase duty-free alcohol or perfumes after having their hand luggage checked, as experts deem these shopping areas and products to be safe.
The rules limiting the size of individual items of hand luggage to 56 cm by 45 cm by 25 cm will apply in six months to give the industry time to prepare.
Exemptions on the size of hand luggage will be possible for items such as musical instruments and cameras.
The EU said that the new regulation, which will apply to all departing flights in order to protect people everywhere in Europe, would plug a gap in its defences by restricting the liquids that passengers can carry past screening points and on board aircraft.
swissinfo with agencies
On August 10 a terror alert was issued at London's Heathrow airport following the discovery of a possible terrorist plan to blow up planes flying from Britain to the United States by smuggling bombs on board in hand luggage.
Security was tightened in airports in Britain, and airports in Switzerland also adapted to the situation.
Airlines introduced new security measures on direct flights to Britain and the United States, in particular on hand luggage.
The security alert prompted a temporary ban on liquids and gels in hand luggage, while awaiting the new European regulations.
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