London City Airport forced to reintroduce 100ml liquid rule as airport bosses slam ministers for passenger confusion

The changes will affect passengers travelling from London City, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Leeds/Bradford, Southend, and Teesside airports (PA) (PA Wire)
The changes will affect passengers travelling from London City, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Leeds/Bradford, Southend, and Teesside airports (PA) (PA Wire)

London City Airport has been forced to reintroduce liquid limits to hand luggage creating confusion for passengers at the busiest time of the year, airport bosses have warned.

Airports have hit out at the Government’s reintroduction of 100ml limits for liquids in hand luggage at some terminals in the UK.

Travellers have been able to take up to two litres of liquids in their hand luggage through security at London City Airport since April last year thanks to high tech CT scanners.

The Airport Operators Association, the trade body for UK airports, has said that bringing back the old rules has created "uncertainty" for passengers and left airports with little time to prepare for the changes.

The Government previously required all airports install new scanners that would allow for up to two litres of liquids to be stored in hand luggage when passengers go through security.

Bigger airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester missed the latest deadline - set for June 1 this year - for installing the technology because of logistical challenges, the BBC reported.

However, smaller airports such as London City, Teesside, Newcastle, Leeds-Bradford, Aberdeen and Southend reached the deadline and dropped the old liquid rules.

Last Friday, the Department for Transport (DfT) unexpectedly announced that from June 9 the old rule - only allowing liquids, gels and pastes under 100ml to be taken through security - would be reinstated.

The DfT said the temporary move was to allow further improvements to be made to new checkpoint systems explaining that only a small number of passengers would be affected.

But the chief executive of the Airport Operators Association has argued the rules have plunged airports into uncertainty.

Karen Dee said: "These latest changes announced on Friday, instigated with very little notice, have created uncertainty for passengers just as airports enter their busiest periods of the year.

"It has also put airport operators in a challenging position, with very limited time to prepare for the additional staffing and wider resources that this will require, and no clear idea of when this issue will be resolved."

In response a DfT spokesperson said only six per cent of all UK air passengers were affected by the changes.

A DfT spokesperson said: "The temporary reintroduction of the 100ml liquid restriction at some airports is to allow time to further improve systems.

"It only affects those travelling from six regional airports where next generation security checkpoints (NGSC) were already in full operation - around 6 per cent of all UK air passengers.

"For most passengers, security measures will remain unchanged from those in place since 2006.

"Passengers should continue to check security requirements with their departure airport before travelling."

A spokesperson for London City Airport told the Standard they are adhering to the DfT’s directive and “look forward to the temporary measure being lifted as soon as possible”.