Kenya to revise hand luggage rules at airports


Travellers at Kisumu International Airport. FILE PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NMG

Kenya plans to scrap the 100ml liquid cap on hand luggage for travellers AT its airports in line with an ongoing global shift, giving passengers a major relief.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general, Emile Arao, said the changes will see the hand luggage rule revised to two litres while passengers won’t need to remove large electrical items in cabin luggage as they go through the security to reduce haste.

Passengers are currently required to remove tablets, laptops and liquids from their cabin luggage. Liquids have been limited to 100ml and must be in a clean plastic bag for screening at the security check at the airports.

Liquids such as toothpaste, shampoo and sunscreen must also be 100ml or under well packed in a clear plastic bag.

The limits that were introduced in 2006 have been in place to protect the safety of passengers.

“It is something that we are keen on working with the Kenya Airports Authority so that we have a seamless process for passengers because the current system wastes a lot of time,” said Mr Arao.

“We must do this because even mothers have been forced to drink water they were carrying for their babies. If there is a way to ascertain that the fluids they are carrying are not dangerous, it will be a benefit to all.”

Mr Arao did not disclose when this new rule will take effect in Kenya.

KCAA, he said, is working closely with the US Transport Security Agency, UK government’s department for transport and the Dutch government to see if they can help identify and provide the right equipment needed for this shift.

Mr Arao observed that countries are resorting to deploying better technology to facilitate faster movement of passengers.

“I will need to check with my team whether it is processes, equipment or procedure that needs to be amended. Europe is the first to do it and it’s something that’s taking foot. I was aware it was coming,” he said.

If Kenya scraps the 100ml liquids rule in hand luggage for travellers across its major airports in the next couple of months, it will be the first one to do so in the Horn of Africa region.

Kenyan airports will also be following in the footsteps of Teesside Airport in the UK which has beaten bigger ones to become the country's first to entirely do away with the 100ml limit on liquids when passing through airport security.

Other major airports in the UK such as Heathrow and Gatwick are set to introduce the new technology by June 2024.

The biggest cause of delays at security checks is passengers failing to remove items from their bags or travelling with large bottles of liquids and creams.

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