Air Transport News.


Edited by Aram Gesar, For more global news, data, analysis and features, please go to: Sep 18, 2006

The European Commission intends to restrict the amount of liquids permitted in hand luggage and introduce new limits on the size of hand luggage allowed on flights from EU airports, Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said yesterday. Barrot did not provide details on the new security measures but stressed passengers will be allowed to bring onboard small shampoo and perfume bottles. Duty-free airport purchases will be carried in sealed bags. The new measures also include provisions for check-in procedures and extra airport security, notably concerning laptop computers. Last week EU member states decided that laptops should be removed from their cases and sent separately through hand luggage scanners. Barrot did not give a timeframe for the new EU-wide security but conceded it will be "finalized in the weeks to come." Sep 14, 2006

While EU and US officials will continue negotiating this week as the Sept. 30 deadline to reach a new agreement on sharing of PNR data nears, tension between the European Parliament and European Commission appears to be rising once again. During a parliament debate in Strasbourg last week, MEPs expressed irritation over the Commission's effort to broker a deal without parliament's involvement. In view of the short timeframe, MEPs voted for a two-step strategy on PNRs. It asked the EU Council, which represents the 25 EU governments, to negotiate an interim agreement. That deal would run for the period covered by the original--now annulled--deal, with MEPs present at the negotiations as observers. Parliament insisted that the US offer adequate protection of European passenger data and that sufficient safeguards are put in place. This would include the switch to a push system and a reduction in the number of PNR data fields that can be checked. For the second phase, the EP adopted a report calling for joint decision-making rights with the Council over the negotiation of the agreement after November 2007 and on an eventual EU policy on PNR data. In 2004, the EU and US signed a deal to allow PNR transfer. The EP was opposed, arguing that it violated civilian rights under EU law, and took the matter to court. The European Court of Justice ruled in May that the agreement was illegal and imposed a Sept. 30 deadline for a new deal. Sep 11, 2006


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