Amid growing concerns over air safety, European Union officials are close to agreeing to rules that would limit the amount of liquids passengers can take on board flights. The United States and Great Britain have already introduced tight restrictions on hand luggage after an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic airliners. Officials said it involved homemade liquid explosives. Europe’s Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot told a news conference: “We have made sure there is a good balance between safety demands on the one hand and on the other, the need to keep an ease in air travel that passengers want to retain.” He also acknowledged the need to preserve the interests of businesses involved in air transport.
Airport screening in mainland Europe is largely the same as it was before last month’s terror scare, except for US- and British-bound flights on which liquids have been forbidden. In recent days, the UK has said its hand baggage restrictions may be eased. Under the new EU-wide proposals, passengers would be able to carry, for example, small bottles of shampoo or perfume with them.