Air China

Easing of airport security steps put off

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 December, 2008, 12:00am

Relaxed security measures at mainland airports, announced on Wednesday and due to come into effect today, were postponed yesterday at the last minute.

The restrictions would not be eased for now because of 'practicalities and work requirements', the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a statement on its website announcing the delay.

The statement offered no further explanation.

It said only that all passengers should abide by existing restrictions.

The CAAC had planned to allow passengers boarding domestic flights to take cigarette lighters, matches and up to 1 litre of liquids in 100ml containers on board planes.

They would also have been allowed to take into aircraft cabins liquid medicines and milk for babies if certified by a hospital and subject to security checks. But for now, they will have to follow existing rules requiring them to use milk supplied by airlines and to hand liquid medicines to flight crew.

The CAAC had also said there would be no limit on the amount of alcohol below 24 per cent proof carried in checked baggage and a 5-litre limit on fortified wines and spirits.

Yesterday's delay means the blanket ban on checking in alcohol will remain in force for now.

However, passengers boarding international flights will be allowed to take up to 1 litre of liquids on board, providing each container holds not more than 100ml.

Passengers were banned from taking lighters, matches and liquids on board in the lead-up to the Beijing Olympic Games and in the wake of an alleged attempt in March to hijack a flight. A teenager was said to have carried cans of petrol onto a flight from Xinjiang to Beijing and was said to have wanted to crash the plane.