UK Airports to Scrap Liquids on Airplanes Ban

Starting in April of next year, British airports will begin phasing out a security ban on liquids in carryon luggage.

Similar to the United States airport security procedures, the liquids ban was introduced after a conspiracy to blow up transatlantic flights with explosives disguised as soft drinks was uncovered in 2006.

The ban has been unpopular with passengers and airline operators since it was instated. Earlier this year, the European Union announced "the ban could be lifted in 2013 after the development of technology to detect explosives in liquids," reported the Telegraph.

Current restrictions in the UK are the same as in the United States, requiring passengers to limit the quantity of liquid brought onboard in containers to 3.4 ounces (100ml) and place them in clear plastic bags. Passengers who do not obey this rule are forced to surrender bottled water and soft drinks, perfumes, cosmetics and baby food before reaching departure lounges. It has been reported that Heathrow Airport in London confiscates about 2,000 tons of liquid from passengers each year.

Phillip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Transport, sympathized with parents who had to test food in front of security officials to prove the food was safe. "I have seen mother's tasting it, and doesn't it taste foul? The good news is that by 2013 the band on mush will have ended," he said.

Under the new plan, airport operators will propose their own security plans, provided they meet standards set in place by the government. The government will then scrutinize and approve plans on an individual basis.

Last month, the international airport in Alburquerque tested a machine that uses magnetic resonance to read the molecular makeup of liquids. The process takes around 15 seconds and is so sensitive it can differentiate between red and white wine or different types of sodas. At the time, officials said the technology is still a few years away from deployment at airports in the United States.

Photo, kalleboo, flickr

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