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Air travel security

Greens call to maintain expiry of liquids ban on aircraft

The present EU Regulation controlling the on-board passenger air transport of liquids is due to expire in the course of next year. Through a current 'comitology' procedure (1), the Commission is however intending to propose to extend the legislation to 2014 and to impose requirements for costly 'Type C' machines – already in use in the US – to screen for liquids.

Austrian Green MEP Eva Lichtenberger, a member of the EU Parliament transport committee – which debated the issue yesterday – commented:

"It is time to rethink current security checks for liquids at airports, which are costly and inconvenient for airport authorities and travellers. We have no solid evidence to prove that these procedures provide any real guarantee for the safety of passengers.

Instead of responding to Parliament's concerns regarding the Regulation in force, the Commission is now pursuing new measures that could cause even more expense and inconvenience for air passengers. Imposing a requirement for new machines that cost €200,000 each would certainly generate impressive revenues for the manufacturers, but it would not necessarily guarantee any increased protection against terrorism.

The EU Parliament is yet to receive answers that prove the effectiveness of current measures. The Greens therefore call on the Commission, Council and Parliament to allow the ban on liquids to expire next year, as planned."

Notes to editors:

(1) The 'comitology committee' is expected to adopt a position on the future of Regulation EC/1546/2006 on 18 November, which would then be immediately forwarded to the European Parliament.

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