New EU rule to cause delays at airport security checks

A security check at Helsinki airport.

Passengers should prepare for long queues at airport security checks at the end of January when a new EU regulation enters into force.   

Under the new regulation, liquids, including baby foods, liquid medicines and special diet products in liquid form, must be analysed with liquid scanners from 31 January onwards.

Rules on the liquids that can be carried in hand luggage will remain the same but the new security procedure may lead to some delays. Arja Pulliainen, special adviser at the Finnish Transport Safety Agency, recommends that travellers arrive at the airport in good time.

“If large numbers of passengers taking a long-haul flight and carrying baby food turn up at the same time, delays at security checks are possible,” says Pulliainen.

Because of the forthcoming reform, the Helsinki airport has bought a number of liquid scanners, some of which will be installed in connection with X-ray machines, while the rest will be separate devices.

The new regulation will also bring some benefits to transit travellers, who can take liquids bought at an airport outside the EU or on the aeroplane to a connecting flight.

“If you buy liquids in Bangkok, you can carry them in your hand luggage on a connecting flight from Helsinki for example to Oulu,” explains Pulliainen.

Virve Rissanen – HS
Niina Woolley – HT 
Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

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