UK set to ease airport security restrictions next week amid plans for harmonised pan-European rules

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UK transport ministry officials will meet with industry representatives in the next week with a view to easing the current increased security restrictions in place on UK-originating flights since the foiling of an alleged terror plot last month.

The UK introduced wide-ranging security measures in the immediate aftermath of the police intervention into the alleged plot, leading to major disruption at UK airports.

These heightened security measures were partly relaxed on 14 August. This eased some of the restrictions on the carrying of hand luggage, but still prohibited the carrying of almost all liquids.

Now, amid talks with the industry and particularly European Union security experts with a view to harmonising standards, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) looks set to ease its restrictions.

“We will be meeting with industry representatives next week to present to them new proposals aimed at lessening the burden on both passengers and operators while allowing us to maintain a rigorous security regime,” the DfT says.

“The department will consider the views of industry representatives, other stakeholders and recent EU discussions, and we intend to make an announcement later next week on new regulations, which the industry will implement as soon as possible thereafter.”

EC transport chief Jacques Barrot has today indicated proposals on air security to be put forward shortly by the EC will include restrictions on the amount of liquids authorised in hand luggage, but not an outright ban. The levels of liquids permitted will be defined on the basis of the risk level and recommendations from European explosives experts.

Experts will discuss the European proposals again at a meeting of the regulatory committee for aviation security set for 27 September.