Britain to retain strict rules on liquids in carry-on luggage
Security threat remains, despite no convictions in airline bombing plot
Strict restrictions on carrying liquids in airplane hand baggage will remain in place in Britain for as long as five more years, despite calls from a high-profile international airline to ease the rules.
Britain's Department of Transport said the continuing risk of a terror strike ruled out any relaxation of the rules, reported British newspaper the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday.
Virgin Atlantic had called for a review of the rules, which currently severely limit the amount of liquid passengers can carry in hand baggage, said the Telegraph.
The Department of Transport denied it would review the restrictions within the next year, instead saying they could remain in place for the next five years.
"Aircraft could be vulnerable to such devices so we are right to continue to require restrictions for liquids carried as hand luggage," the Telegraph quoted a department spokesman as saying.
"We are also right to require these restrictions internationally as, potentially, we are all at risk."
The restrictions have cost airport authorities millions of dollars in enforcement costs, reported the Telegraph.
The hand baggage rules were put in place around the world after British authorities said they had stopped an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic jets with liquid bombs in August 2006.
The trial for the eight accused British men ended earlier this week, with the jury failing to convict any of them in the alleged airline plot, although three of them were convicted on lesser conspiracy to murder charges.
British prosecutors announced Wednesday they will seek a retrial for seven of the eight accused.