New Advanced Scanning Technology Likely to Remove 100 ml Liquid Rule at Airports

Innovative 3D scanners may signal the resolution of vexing liquid restrictions at airports, offering a glimpse into how they will enhance aviation safety. Cutting-edge CT scanners may eradicate the necessity for adhering to the 100 ml liquid limit at prominent airports. This initiative is mainly to streamline security procedures, significantly reducing wait times and enhancing overall efficiency.

The implementation of the 100 ml liquid rule at airports dates back to 2006, when a global restriction was imposed on passengers carrying liquids exceeding this limit in their hand luggage. This regulation was a direct response to a terrorist plot uncovered by British police, wherein individuals planned to detonate liquid explosives disguised as soft drinks on transatlantic flights.

The conspirators aimed to construct and activate an explosive device mid-flight, utilizing hydrogen peroxide and other substances injected into 500 ml soda bottles, with the caps securely sealed. The potential for the common bleach product to become explosive, when mixed with specific additional ingredients, underscored the need for this security measure to enhance aviation safety.

Had the plot succeeded, it is believed that its impact could have surpassed the severity of the 9/11 attacks, as it aimed to target multiple flights traveling from the UK to at least five US and two Canadian airports. In the immediate aftermath of the discovery, a precautionary measure was implemented, resulting in a complete ban on hand luggage aboard planes. Subsequent tests were conducted to ascertain a safe amount of liquid to carry, leading to the introduction of a 100 ml container limit.

Experts determined that the practicality of creating a highly destructive explosive device on board by mixing smaller containers into a larger one was unrealistic. This approach was deemed likely to fail or detonate prematurely, causing harm to the perpetrator but minimal damage to the aircraft. Presently, passengers are restricted to carrying a maximum of one liter of liquids through security, contained in individual 100 ml containers, which must be placed in a clear resealable bag and separated from hand luggage during security screenings.

After nearly two decades, certain countries are set to abandon the 100 ml liquid rule, thanks to the introduction of state-of-the-art security scanners. Employing Computed Tomography (CT) X-ray technology, akin to the medical field, these scanners offer a detailed 3D representation of the contents within passengers' bags.

The removal of the 100 ml liquid rule does not compromise aviation safety; rather, it improvises and enhances security, as affirmed by the UK's Department for Transport. The advanced scanners offer more intricate images of passengers' belongings, facilitating the detection of potential threats and prohibited items with increased precision.

This technological improvement not only expedites security checks but also contributes to a more convenient airport experience for travelers. Additionally, there are also environmental benefits as the shift away from numerous disposable toiletry bottles to larger containers reduces plastic waste.

The latest CT scanners have already been implemented in several European airports, including Teesside International Airport in County Durham, UK, Schiphol in Amsterdam, and Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Rome, among others. Numerous airports still await the installation of the upgraded hand luggage scanners. The implementation is expected to take place over the forthcoming months and years.