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New liquid regulation - Children’s mascot helps families at Helsinki Airport

27.1.2014 at 10:47
Finavia would like to remind passengers of the fact that the EU’s new liquid regulation has come into force. It is now even more important that, before entering the security check, passengers remember to remove all liquids from their hand luggage and hand them over to be X-rayed.

"All liquids forgotten in bags, such as cosmetics and hygiene products, baby food and pharmaceuticals, will cause an additional security check," says Jari Amnell, Finavia's security expert.

The best way to avoid an additional security check is to prepare for the flight at home and check the packing instructions on Finavia's website, for example.

Amnell particularly advises families with children to bring baby food in cartons or glass jars so that it is easy to remove them from hand luggage and show them to the security check employee.

"This makes travelling considerably smoother.

Airport director Ville Haapasaari says that Finavia has prepared for the EU liquid change by acquiring €3 million worth of new analysis devices. Finavia is also investing in services for families with children.

At Helsinki Airport, families can use the designated security check line for children, which provides personal service and advice in security matters concerning families with children. You can read the instructions and tips in advance on Finavia's website.

"During the departure times of holiday flights, a children’s mascot takes care of families and guides them to the designated line for children, and also helps mothers and fathers pack their baby food when necessary," says Haapasaari.

Security checks may be slow while the new operating method is being introduced, which is why it is important to arrive at the airport in plenty of time, especially in February and March.

Liquids in cargo hold luggage

There will be no major changes to the daily lives of air passengers due to the change to the EU liquid regulation because it applies to only about 5% of the total number of passengers at Finavia airports.

"Also from now on, liquids are allowed in hand luggage in bottles etc. of up to 100 millilitres each. Liquid packages larger than that must be packed in cargo hold luggage," says Amnell.

Baby food, pharmaceuticals and liquids required for special diets and needed during the flight are allowed in the passenger compartments. Their package size is allowed to exceed 100 millilitres.

What is a liquid product?

Examples of liquids: foodstuffs (beverages, canned food, pastries, foods containing curd cheese, etc.) as well as cosmetics and hygiene products (creams, ointments, gels, toothpastes, shaving cream, mascara, etc.)

"The spreading of the substance is a convenient rule of thumb. If the product can be spread with a knife, it is considered to be a liquid," says Amnell.

Tax-free purchases by transit passengers to be allowed

However, the regulation includes one aspect which will make life easier for air passengers. After 31 January, transit passengers will be allowed to bring tax-free liquids purchased from third-country airports or airplanes to connecting flights passing through the EU.

This will allow passengers to make tax-free purchases at Bangkok airport, for example, and take them to Oulu on a connecting flight.

Regulations concerning items allowed and forbidden in security checks are issued by international aviation authorities and organisations, the European Commission and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency.