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Edited by Aram Gesar, edit@AirGuideOnline.com For more global news, data, analysis and features, please go to: http://www.AirGuideOnline.com/professional.htm Sep 18, 2006

The European Commission intends to restrict the amount of liquids permitted in hand luggage and introduce new limits on the size of hand luggage allowed on flights from EU airports, Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said yesterday. Barrot did not provide details on the new security measures but stressed passengers will be allowed to bring onboard small shampoo and perfume bottles. Duty-free airport purchases will be carried in sealed bags. The new measures also include provisions for check-in procedures and extra airport security, notably concerning laptop computers. Last week EU member states decided that laptops should be removed from their cases and sent separately through hand luggage scanners. Barrot did not give a timeframe for the new EU-wide security but conceded it will be "finalized in the weeks to come." Sep 14, 2006

While EU and US officials will continue negotiating this week as the Sept. 30 deadline to reach a new agreement on sharing of PNR data nears, tension between the European Parliament and European Commission appears to be rising once again. During a parliament debate in Strasbourg last week, MEPs expressed irritation over the Commission's effort to broker a deal without parliament's involvement. In view of the short timeframe, MEPs voted for a two-step strategy on PNRs. It asked the EU Council, which represents the 25 EU governments, to negotiate an interim agreement. That deal would run for the period covered by the original--now annulled--deal, with MEPs present at the negotiations as observers. Parliament insisted that the US offer adequate protection of European passenger data and that sufficient safeguards are put in place. This would include the switch to a push system and a reduction in the number of PNR data fields that can be checked. For the second phase, the EP adopted a report calling for joint decision-making rights with the Council over the negotiation of the agreement after November 2007 and on an eventual EU policy on PNR data. In 2004, the EU and US signed a deal to allow PNR transfer. The EP was opposed, arguing that it violated civilian rights under EU law, and took the matter to court. The European Court of Justice ruled in May that the agreement was illegal and imposed a Sept. 30 deadline for a new deal. Sep 11, 2006

Canada, U.S. await DOT decision on antitrust immunity. Canada continues to postpone implementing an open skies agreement with the U.S. until the Department of Transportation approves antitrust immunity for Air Canada and United Airlines. American Airlines is objecting to the proposed antitrust agreement. The U.S. and Canada hope the DOT makes a decision in the next few months. Sep 8, 2006

EU, U.S. discuss passenger data agreement. EU and U.S. representatives on Thursday began discussing a new agreement on sharing passenger data. The EU's top court struck down a previous agreement on procedural grounds. EU officials want to include privacy safeguards to prevent passenger profiling in any new agreement. Sep 8, 2006

Bush nominates former highway official Peters as Transportation Secretary. Mary Peters, a former director of the US Federal Highway Administration, yesterday was nominated as the next US Transportation Secretary by President George Bush. If confirmed by the Senate, Peters will replace the retired Norman Mineta, who left his post in July after more than five years on the job. FHA head from 2001 to 2005, she said she will focus on updating outdated infrastructure to alleviate congestion. Peters most recently served as director-transportation policy for HDR Inc., an engineering and consulting firm. She was head of the Arizona Dept. of Transportation for three years beginning in 1998. Bush urged the Senate to confirm her quickly. Sep 5, 2006

Agreement between U.S. and Kuwait ensures open travel. A new Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and Kuwait will allow air carriers to adjust their service as required to meet customer demand. The deal removes all barriers limiting the number and range of commercial airline flights between the two countries. Sep 4, 2006

Uniformity sought in European airport security. The EU, faced with differing procedures for passenger screening throughout its 25-nation bloc, is seeking ways to standardize the process. Regulators want to raise standards of airline security and increase uniformity of the rules among member states. Sep 4, 2006

IATA and China's General Administration of Civil Aviation signed an MOU to "further the safe, efficient and sustainable development of China's air transportation system," IATA said. The agreement focuses on cooperation in safety, traffic management, training, fuel, technology and other areas. Aug 23, 2006

ICAO Council in a special meeting Friday called on the organization's Aviation Security Panel to give "highest priority" to dealing with the threat raised by the recently thwarted terrorist plot in the UK when it meets next month. "In a unanimous decision, the Council agreed that the Panel should fully assess the danger associated with liquid explosives and report as quickly as possible on practical and sustainable recommendations to further improve the security of civil aviation," Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez said. Aug 21, 2006

DOT Undersecretary for Policy Jeffrey Shane told reporters that the Bush Administration will continue to work with Congress on a deal while separately pursuing an agreement with the EU, although there is no set timetable. An EU spokesperson told reporters that the EU still is optimistic a deal will be reached before year end, adding that DOT Deputy Secretary Maria Cino has reassured EC VP-Transport Jacques Barrot that control restrictions will be lifted in time. Aug 17, 2006
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