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Gel rule gone, but no one knows

india Updated: Oct 14, 2006 02:44 IST
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Air travellers can now carry up to 100 ml of shampoo, gels and liquids in their hand baggage. But few among the airline staff seem to be aware of this.

On September 29, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) issued a circular relaxing the rules on what can and cannot be carried on board by passengers. Yet many airlines do not know or are confused about the new order.

"We have not received the revised circular yet," said PN Thimmaih, head of security at Air Deccan. Air-India too seemed to be in the dark. One of its officials, who did not want to be named, said, "We have not received any official communication."

Thus at Mumbai and Delhi airports, passengers are still not allowed to carry liquids in  hand baggage. "CISF personnel are asking passengers bringing liquids to hand the bottles over to the airline crew during the flight," said an Indian (Airlines) official, who would not be named.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which handles security at the airports, is, however, aware of the circular. Yet it has not said a word to the airline staff. "It is the responsibility of the BCAS to inform the airlines," said a CISF spokesman.

Kingfisher and SpiceJet are said to have implemented the new order.

BCAS sources told HT that passengers were allowed to carry a transparent 1-litre plastic bag to hold cosmetics and beverages.

On August 11, following the conspiracy to blow up transatlantic planes, the BCAS had banned virtually all liquids in hand baggage. "Many passengers complained," said an official at the Ministry of Civil Aviation. With no clarity in sight, the inconvenience could last a little longer.

nandiniriyer@hindustantimes.com

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