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New baggage rules at airport

NEW rules on what passengers can carry onto planes as part of their hand baggage will be imposed at Bahrain International Airport from Sunday. Most airlines operating out of Bahrain have already become "compliant" with the new regulations, airport director Mohammed Al Kaabi told a Press conference at the Movenpick Hotel yesterday.

The rules are already in place all over the world, but the implementation in Bahrain was delayed in keeping with the huge incoming traffic after the summer vacations.

Mr Al Kaabi said according to the new rules, all passengers travelling from or transiting through the airport would have to undergo extra security screening for liquids, gels and aerosols.

"Prescription medicines, accompanied by prescriptions and in reasonable quantity, will be the only exceptions," he added.

The director said the measures are in keeping with new security guidelines put in place by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which aim to bring about complete uniformity in its rules all over the world.

He said the ICAO had issued a directive on December 11 last year, after incidents at UK airports last summer when a plot to bomb aircraft was reportedly unearthed.

"The new regulations will cover all international passengers departing from Bahrain or making transits on commercial flights, including chartered flights," he said.

"We are aware that this will bring about severe restrictions on what and how to carry hand baggage, but we assure all passengers that there will be minimum disruptions."

He said he hoped the new rules would be "adapted to" by the passenger's very quickly.

The new rules cover liquids such as water, drinks, soups, syrups and other beverages, gels (including hair and shower gels), pastes (including toothpaste), mascara, lip gloss, creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, sprays, liquids/solid mixture, contents of pressurised containers (including shaving foam and deodorants), aerosols and other similar items.

"We have spoken to all airlines operating at the airport and have agreed on a set of procedures to be followed," said Mr Al Kaabi. "We can assure that there will be complete uniformity on the procedures." Civil Aviation Affairs Acting Marketing Director Syed Mohammed Mahdi and Security Advisor John Boyce also attended the Press conference.

Regulations

The following regulations recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation will be implemented at the Bahrain International Airport from Sunday:

* All liquids, gels and aerosols, pastes, lotions, creams, drinks and other items of similar consistency must be in containers with a capacity no greater than 100ml. Those carried in containers larger than 100ml will not be accepted, even if the container is only partly-filled.

* These containers must be placed in a transparent re-sealable plastic bag of a maximum capacity not exceeding one litre. Larger bags or bags that are non-sealable, such as fold-over sandwich bags, are not allowed.

* The containers must fit comfortably within the transparent plastic bag, which is to be completely closed.

* The plastic bag is to be presented for visual examination at the screening point. Only one transparent plastic bag per passenger will be permitted.

* Exemptions will be made for medications, baby milk/foods and special dietary requirements. An appropriate and proportionate means of verifying the nature of such items will need to be available.

* To facilitate screening and avoid a cluttered X-ray image, such plastic bags should be presented apart from other cabin baggage, coats, jackets and laptops for separate X-ray screening.

* Passengers transiting in countries adhering to these measures may not be able to take duty free liquid goods past the transit security checkpoint and may have these items confiscated.



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