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London to test liquid-scanners in airports

London is set to test liquid-scanning detectors at Heathrow as a step toward easing up on liquid limitations.
November 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Air travelers know the drill with the little bottles and the plastic bags - all to get liquids through airport security. Now, London's Heathrow Airport is installing liquid-scanning technology to detect potential threats - a step toward doing away with liquid limitations.

Currently in American airports, the Transportation Security Administration allows passengers to carry on 3.4-ounce bottles of liquid, aerosols and gels packaged in a 1-quart clear, zip-top bag.

The 3.4-ounce limit is a precaution. The right mixture of liquids and gels can be explosive. There was a foiled plot to blow up 10 U.S.-bound commercial airliners from London back in 2006.

However, the rule may be bending in Europe. At the beginning of the year, airports there will be required to have liquid-scanning technology. An Ohio-based company developed the machines, which can scan bottles and cans in less than 10 seconds and detect if something harmful is inside.

Travelers passing through Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday morning say they're on board with the scanning idea.

"I think that's a good thing. I think any kind of detection just to keep us safe as travelers, I think that's a very good thing," said Dante Johnson, a traveler.

The big question now is, should the TSA allow American travelers on U.S. flights to do the same thing? TSA officials have said lifting the liquid restriction is one of their long-term goals, though they have not set a specific start date.

Security officials say they do not support lifting the liquid restrictions, emphasizing that the technology still needs to be tested further.


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