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UK airports call for 2013 LAG reversal to be abandoned

UK airports call for 2013 LAG reversal to be abandoned

The Airport Operators Association has called for European institutions to abandon plans for a relaxing of the Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGs) ban, due in April 2013.

At a Westminster Transport Forum event earlier, AOA chief Darren Caplan said passenger security needed to take priority over arbitrary deadlines.

He called on the UK Government to lobby its European counterparts to keep the current rules on LAGs, until the technology has matured and can offer a seamless, rather than a more confused, security process for passengers.

Caplan commented: “Although the liquids rules are not due to change until April 2013, the decision on the ban must be made very soon, to provide clarity for all those involved.

“Liquids technology has been trialled throughout Europe and the latest significant trials show that the technology is still not mature enough to handle the vast numbers of passenger travelling through our airports.

“If implemented as things stand, there would be chaos and confusion in airport central search areas.

“As well as being bad for passengers, we believe that it will put security at risk.

“We know that manufacturers of liquids-detection equipment are working hard to deliver the technology and we of course want to see the eventual lifting of the ban, not partially but in its entirety.

“However, the AOA and its members are concerned that this April 2013 date is more about an arbitrary deadline set by the European Parliament, rather than providing better security for passengers.

“We urge the Department for Transport to begin lobbying colleagues in Europe to prevent these problems now, rather than wait until the last minute to advocate this position, as happened in 2011.”