Liquid ban on flights to continue until 2013
I can't decide which side of the liquid-ban-on-planes argument I fall on the side of. Taking 100ml containers of liquids in hand luggage is hardly an inconvenience, and anyone who complains about having to throw away expensive perfume and aftershave at security shouldn't be so dim - it's been a flight requirement for five years.
However, my barely-concealable joy at seeing somebody ranting at security because they've had their bottle of Hai Karate confiscated shouldn't distract from the fact that civil liberties and personal privacy has been eroded to dust in the name of security. Ultimately, if somebody wants to blow up a plane they'll find a way to do it.
So where to stand on the news that the restrictions won't be lifted until 2013, or that new hi-tech screening machines aren't been installed in airports because they cost up to £50,000 each? An MEP is accusing airports of using national security as an excuse to avoid paying for the new scanners, which will be able to detect liquid explosives.
Brian Simpson claims that the Airport Operators Association is stalling, not because of security worries but because of cost. The EU was due to start phasing out restrictions in April, but the day before the partial lifting was due to begin, a six-month delay was announced - airports didn't trust the new security measures. Last week, that six month delay turned into two years.
The Transport committee chairman believes that when security decisions are reviewed again in 2013, airports will once again fudge the issue on the grounds of terrorist threats. Until the price of paranoia is more affordable for airports, the Hai Karate will have to stay at home.