EU Experts Back Tighter Security Rules for Air Passengers

European Union air safety officials on Wednesday backed tightened rules on the amount of liquids and size of carry-on baggage passengers can bring onto commercial flights - even as the U.S. has eased its restrictions.

The stricter EU-wide security rules are a response to Britain's discovery on Aug. 10 of a plot to bring down U.S.-bound flights with liquid-based explosives.

The European Commission said its tighter limits on liquids will enter into force in early November. The rules would let passengers carry on no more than a fifth of a pint of liquid per container. All such containers will have to be in a clear plastic bag to be checked at security stations.

The rules also limit carry-on baggage to a maximum of 22 inches by 17 inches by 10 inches - not much bigger than a briefcase or laptop bag - although exceptions could be made for some items such as musical instruments.

This requirement will come into force at a date than the rule on liquids to give the industry more time to adjust, the Commission said.

Britain and the United States tightened air security last month after the bomb plot was discovered, banning passengers from taking liquids on board.

British authorities relaxed restrictions on carry-on bags last week, allowing passengers to take musical instruments and larger bags on the plane.

The United States followed suit on Monday, dropping an outright ban on liquids, lotions and gels. It now allows travel-sized toiletries to be carried aboard flights in a sealable clear plastic bag. Some items are permitted in any amount: saline solution, eye drops and prescription and nonprescription medicine, according to Transportation Security Administration spokesman Christopher White.

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