11 January 2014, 20:11

Liquids overboard

Liquids overboard

The Federal Air Transport Agency has banned to take any liquids aboard aircrafts. Earlier, the ban did not cover amounts of less than 100 milliliters. Now, after a special examination, it is only possible to take medicines and baby food aboard as hand-carried items.

The Federal Air Transport Agency refers this measure to the threat of terrorist acts on air transport with the use of improvised explosive devices. In a conversation with the Voice of Russia radio station, Advisor to the Head of the Federal Air Transport Agency, Sergei Izvolsky said that the department had sent a directive to all airports and civil aviation organizations on the necessity to take additional measures aimed at ensuring security.

“In accordance with this directive, in the course of a preflight inspection it is recommended to park in the baggage all liquids and means of personal hygiene that a passenger has on his person or in his hand luggage. Medicines, which passengers need on a permanent basis, as well as objects and means of personal hygiene ensuring vital functions of passengers during the flight, are not prohibited and are permitted for being carried in hand luggage after their identification by the aviation security services of the airport and security examination with the use of technical means of inspection and detection of explosives.”

If a passenger wants to take drugs on board an aircraft, then he must have a certificate indicating that these medicines are vital for him during the flight. As for baby food, it will be allowed for passengers with children to take them on board a plane, but only after some testing. Here is what an employee of the information service unit of the Moscow Vnukovo airport told us:

“It’s not that something is prohibited from being carried, it’s all about a very strict control, a very strict inspection before boarding. In principle, they may take away baby food. All depends on the human factor, on the person, who will inspect you. You can lose a lot of time during the inspection due to the same baby food. Thus, if it's not very important, you’d better put it in your baggage.”

The Vnukovo airport states that the ban will last till March 2. The Federal Air Transport Agency also confirms the temporary nature of the introduced directive. The Federal Air Transport Agency notes that this measure applies to all flights, both domestic and international. Experts say that changes in baggage rules will be valid only during the Olympic Games in Sochi. After that, airports will return to the usual practice.

Chairman of the Commission for Civil Aviation of the Public Council of Rostransnadzor Oleg Smirnov notes that states, which assume the responsibility to hold Olympic Games, also assume the responsibility to ensure safety of participants and guests of the Olympics.

“Our country is not an exception. When security measures are enhanced ahead of the Olympics, this is a requirement of the IOC, it is written in the documents of the IOC: securing of unconditional safety of participants and guests of Olympic Games. This is an international rule - to fulfill the commitments we have assumed by winning the right to host the Winter Games.”

Today, in almost all countries there are restrictions on transportation of liquids on board aircrafts. The permitted amount is100 milliliters. That very amount should be in a bottle or a tube. And the total amount should not exceed one liter. Oleg Smirnov refers this to the common rules for all airlines in the world.

“Russia is a member of the ICAO - the International Civil Aviation Organization. It includes 195 countries, and all the airlines of these countries work according to the rules of the ICAO. This also applies to liquids. And during Olympic Games, these requirements are made tougher for obvious reasons - to ensure safety.”

One of the examples of the enhanced security measures is the Olympic Games in Vancouver. Then, in 2010, during the Olympics, commercial airlines could not do direct flights from the USA to Vancouver. Controllers first sent them to one of 16 airports in Canada, where passengers passed customs and migration control.

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