[JPL] The Ballad of Valery Ponomarev. It's Their Way Or It's
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Tue Sep 26 14:02:23 EDT 2006
The Times September 22, 2006
Airlines overturn ban on large bags and musical instruments
By Ben Webster, Transport Correspondent
LARGER pieces of hand luggage and musical instruments are to be allowed back
into aircraft cabins today, after the Government relented under intense
pressure from the airlines.
The Department for Transport agreed yesterday to re-instate the
internationally recognised maximum sizes for hand luggage that were in force
before the security alert on August 10. The ban on liquids will continue,
except for baby milk and essential medicines.
Musical instruments can be taken on board but will have to be screened
separately. This measure was welcomed by hundreds of professional musicians
who have had to travel by road and rail to avoid being parted from their
The department abandoned plans to introduce a new bag-size limit that was
bigger than that imposed five weeks ago but not as large as the standard set
by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Officials had told
the aviation industry, at a meeting on Monday, that the international
standard was too big to be X-rayed effectively. But the industry protested
that the new size would cause confusion and the loss of lucrative
Heathrow has lost more than 250,000 transfer passengers since the security
restrictions were imposed last month because travellers have preferred to
change flights in Paris, Frankfurt or Amsterdam.
The department said that the level of security threat remained at severe. It
did not explain why it had decided that it was safe to return to the old
bag-size limit. A spokesman said: ³We have considered the views of industry
representatives. It was a two-way process. We are not going to discuss the
details of Monday¹s meeting.²
Transport officials held a media briefing last month at which they
demonstrated how difficult it was to spot bottles of liquid in larger bags.
The dimensions being reintroduced today are 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (22in x 18in
x 10in), replacing a limit of 45cm x 35cm x 16cm (18in x 14in x 6in).
Mike Carrivick, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in
the UK, said: ³We are pleased that the department has genuinely listened to
what we have said. The smaller size that they were proposing would have been
inconsistent with IATA recommended practice.²
A decision on allowing liquids has been deferred while the European
Commission debates whether to ban large bottles in hand luggage.
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