Aviation: Assessment of the situation in respect of the screening of liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) at EU airports
The European Commission today adopted its assessment on the screening of liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) at EU airports. The assessment is based on results of trials carried out at a number of EU airports and on extensive consultations with a wide group of stakeholders, it takes stock of the present situation and recommends a way forward in respect of LAGs screening at European airports. The risk posed by liquid explosives to civil aviation is still significant and Liquid Explosive Detection Systems manufacturers have made considerable progress in recent years to develop instruments which can adequately address this risk. The Commission's assessment indicates that the removal of the LAGs restrictions on April 2013, as currently envisaged in EU law, could present a considerable operational risk mainly due to the scale of the change. Faced with security and operational risks and the need to safeguard passenger interests, a phased approach will be necessary to introduce the screening of LAGs. Starting in January 2014, the Commission recommends that passengers should be able to carry on board all duty free LAGs provided that they are screened. In the light of the experience gained and in close cooperation with its European and international partners, the Commission will then bring forward proposals for subsequent phases to achieve the final objective of screening all LAGs at the earliest possible date. To implement these recommendations, the Commission will bring forward proposals to amend the existing legislation on LAGs in Autumn 2012, with the agreement of the Member States and the European Parliament.
Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)
Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)