European airline passengers will have to endure strict anti-terrorism rules on liquids in hand luggage at least until 2012, since the technology needed to dispense with them is not yet available, the European Union’s transport commissioner said on Friday.

“We want to put out a clear, strong signal that restrictions in carrying liquids in hand luggage should come to an end one day,” Commissioner Antonio Tajani said after a meeting of EU transport ministers in Luxembourg.

“I hope 2014 might be the end of the transition period,” Mr. Tajani said.

The current rules, which are set to expire in April 2010, were introduced in 2006 after the British police uncovered a plot by al-Qaeda suspects to detonate liquid explosives aboard several U.S.-bound flights departing from London’s Heathrow airport.

While in Luxembourg, EU transport ministers discussed the idea of extending the rules until 2012 for big airports with at least 10 million passengers per year, and until 2014 for all other airports.

A final decision will have to be taken by the council and the European Parliament.

More In: International | News