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Indonesia Mulls Stricter Airline Baggage Rules
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In the wake of recently imposed stricter cabin baggage regulations aboard national airlines serving international flights, the Indonesian government hinted similar rules might be imposed on domestic flights, local press said Wednesday.


Airport authorities may impose similar regulations for screening liquids, gels and aerosols for domestic flights.


The Transportation Ministry is now in the process of drawing up a road map for improving security in every sector of the country's transportation industry, reported English daily The Jakarta Post.


"Security has become as important an issue as safety. Both factors also have to go along with good public services and compliance," Director General for Air Transportation Budhi Suyitno was quoted as saying.


"First of all, we are going to fix the infrastructure related to security, such as all the X-ray machines in airports."


Indonesia has followed other countries in limiting the amount of liquids, gels and aerosols passengers can carry onto planes on international flights.


Passengers should not carry more than one liter of liquids, including creams, lotions, oils and beverages. Anything over this amount may be placed into separate baggage or confiscated by security officials.


Each package, bottle or container of liquid substance should not exceed 100 milliliters and needs to fit into a transparent plastic bag. Passengers are limited to one plastic bag.


"Even a regular bottle of spring water can be spiked with chemicals that make an explosion," Budhi said.


The regulation excludes products categorized as medical drugs, food and drinks for babies and dietary supplements.


Inside the airport, passengers can purchase liquid consumer products at duty free shops but have to show proof of purchase at final screening.


"We ask passengers for international destinations to arrive earlier to the airport, perhaps three hours before departure time because of these rules," Budhi said.


(Xinhua News Agency April 4, 2007)


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