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Thursday, 8 August, 2002, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Air passengers 'flouting' security rules
Warnings are prominent
Passengers are advised to heed the warnings
Over 15,000 sharp objects are still confiscated daily from people's hand luggage at the UK's airports, it has emerged.

Items such as nail scissors were banned in the wake of 11 September and should be packed in suitcases.

But the airport operator BAA says many passengers are attempting to flout the ban or forget about it and, as a result, delaying flights.


By the end of the day ... we shall be the proud owners of another 2,000 pairs of nail scissors

Roger Cato, Managing Director Gatwick Airport

As summer holiday traffic builds up, queues into airport security areas regularly stretch back into main terminal buildings.

One out of every 17 passengers' hand luggage contains sharp objects ranging from nail scissors to kitchen knives, said BAA.

This is at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted alone.

Media reminders

Gatwick Airport Managing Director Roger Cato said many people are simply forgetting the rules.

Confiscated items
The main UK airports have confiscated 2.5 million items

"By the end of the day, because of 50,000 passengers passing through this building we shall be the proud owners of 2,000 pairs of nail scissors," he said.

This is despite the variety of reminders in the local press, on radio, via posters and even "floor walkers" urging passengers to check their hand luggage.

Once detected, the passengers have to be pulled aside so their bags can be hand checked.

Dangerous collection

Mr Cato said passengers should either leave sharp objects at home or put them in their suitcase.

Since 11 September 2.5 million dangerous items have been confiscated at Britain's main airports.

Forbidden items
Replica guns
Household cutlery
Knives
Scissors
Letter openers
Razor blades
Tradesmen's tools
Darts
Knitting needles
Sports rackets
Cricket bats
Golf clubs
Snooker cues
Catapults
Corkscrews with blades

Mr Cato, at Gatwick Airport, said: "There are a whole series of things that people are now not allowed to take in their hand luggage and that is the message we are trying to get over."

Most passengers know about the restrictions, but those caught usually say they forgot about the new rules.

And they are becoming increasingly abusive

"We have had one or two cases where our staff have been abused," said Mr Cato.

He said the airport hopes that messages will be heeded and that the situation over the current peak travelling season will improve.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Max Foster
"Every time a sharp object is found, delays are caused"
Roger Cato, Managing Director of Gatwick Airport
"There are a whole series of things people are not allowed to take in hand luggage"

Talking PointTALKING POINT
Airport safety
Are security checks tight enough?


Safety options

See also:

08 Aug 02 | Breakfast
21 Sep 01 | UK
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