BRUSSELS: Millions of air passengers face three more years of having hand cream, shampoo and drinks confiscated at airport security gates under European commission proposals to combat the threat of liquid bombs.

The ban on carrying liquids, aerosols and gels above 100ml in hand luggage will remain in place until 29 April 2013 if a revised timetable drawn up last week by security officials is rubber-stamped by the European parliament.

The draft regulation, seen by the Guardian, raises the possibility of allowing

individual airports to lift restrictions as soon as they buy the correct screening machinery. “This way, airports would be able to facilitate the carriage

of liquids by departing passengers by deploying, for example, screening equipment for liquid explosives at one security check lane,” the document says.

Transfer passengers from non-EU countries will be allowed to carry liquids on to connecting flights from 2011, ending a restriction that has seen the impounding of duty-free goods.

The commission says all airports should be able to screen suspect liquids in just over three years.