UK Liquid Ban to be Lifted?

The UK ban on taking any liquids in containers larger than 100ml through airport security could be lifted, but only if all the nation’s major airports are equipped with the necessary hi-tech scanners. Sources in the security industry said recently that this could be achieved as early as next year provided that government tests on the new scanning equipment are a success. The new technologies not only allow for liquids to be detected, but also show if these are harmful or potentially dangerous. So far four UK airports, including London/Heathrow, are thought to have invested in the new equipment.
All of this has become necessary following the alleged August 2006 plot to blow up seven transatlantic airliners using liquid explosives. Consequently Draconian security restrictions initially banned all liquids and most hand baggage and although these have been eased somewhat, the carriage of liquids through security is still limited to 100ml containers carried in a one-litre capacity clear plastic bag. Passengers are free to purchase liquids in post security retail outlets, though in most cases these have to remain in a sealed bag until they have cleared customs at their destination.
The implications for all of this on the world’s airports have been immense – notably vast increases in security costs. More intensive screening has required vast numbers of additional staff and equipment and while some countries have helped to fund this, here in the UK airports have been left to foot the bill entirely. Airports and airlines would certainly welcome an easing of the restrictions and so would passengers as it would take some of the stress out of the security process and reduce the potential for long queues.