The Department for Transport have announced changes to the UK’s aviation security measures, i.e. to the size of cabin baggage that can be taken onboard an aircraft.   The new restrictions came into effect on 22nd September 2006.

All passengers starting their journey at a UK airport and those transferring from international flights at a UK airport are required to be aware of :

Cabin Baggage
ONE item only of cabin baggage is permitted through the airport security search point, the dimensions of which must not exceed a maximum length of 56cm, width of 45cm and depth of 25cm (including handles, wheels, side pockets etc).   Other bags, such as handbags, may be carried within the single item of cabin baggage.   All items carried by passengers will be x-ray screened.

Mobility aids
Pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs are permitted but will be screened.

No liquids of any type are permitted through the security search point other than :
*  Essential medicines in liquid form sufficient and essential for the flight as long as it is verified as authentic.  Medicines in solid form are permitted.
*  Baby milk and liquid baby food (contents of which must be tasted by the accompanying passenger.

To help their progress through the search points, passengers are advised not to include items capable of containing liquids (bottles, flasks, tubes, cans, plastic containers etc) in their cabin baggage.

The definition of liquids includes gels, pastes, lotions, liquid/solid mixtures and the contents of pressurised containers, (toothpaste, hair gel, drinks, soups, syrups, perfume, deodorant, shaving foam, aerosols etc).

Large electrical items/laptops
Laptops and other large electrical items (large hairdryers) have to be removed from cabin baggage and screened separately (a laptop bag will be regarded as the traveller’s 1 item that is allowed in the cabin). 

Musical instruments
Musical instruments which do not fit in the permitted cabin baggage size, are allowed as a second item of cabin baggage and will need to be screened.   Larger instruments (cellos) are also permitted into the cabin following screening.   However, passengers should check with their airlines if special arrangements (e.g. purchasing an extra seat) for these large instruments need to be made.

Oversized baggage
All other items of oversized luggage are required to be placed in the aircraft hold.

Flights to the US
Passengers boarding flights to the USA and items they are carrying, including those acquired after the central screening point, will be subjected to a secondary search at the gate.   Any liquids discovered will be removed from the passenger.

For full details, visit http://www/dft/gov/uk/stellent/groups.dft_about/documents/page/dft_about_612280.hcsp