The UK is removing its restrictions on 100ml liquids in carry-on luggage: will the US be next?

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Travelers passing through UK airports will soon no longer have to limit their liquids to 100ml as the UK has decided to remove its restrictions by 2024, according to The Times. As more people choose to carry carry-on luggage instead of checking their bags, travelers have faced inconvenient restrictions on downsizing their toiletries like face creams, deodorants, shampoos and more by saving on baggage costs. hand for travel

The passenger puts liquids in a bag at the airport security check

These items larger than 100ml have been lost to travel size alternatives or have been separated from their original containers and placed in airport-safe containers. No matter what your process, carry-on comes with some planning.

According to The Times, UK airports will allow passengers to carry liquids of any size in their hand luggage, and passengers will no longer need to take out their laptops for security. Currently in the UK liquids must be less than 100ml and must be placed in a clear plastic bag and removed separately for safety.

Woman closing transparent bag with travel kit for transporting cosmetics by plane

Why are airports considering removing the 100ml restriction?

This move is the result of new technology that will drastically reduce queues and decrease the use of plastic that is required at certain airports. The technology is currently being tested at selected airports around the world, with the UK using the technology at Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The country hopes to roll out the new technology in other major UK countries by mid-2024.

New CT scanner technology produces a high-resolution 3D scan, allowing security to search for content at all angles, unlike the current 2D image found on older machines. Shannon Airport in Ireland was one of the first airports to lift 100ml liquid restrictions with the technology and has said the move has “halved the time our passengers spend going through security”. according to The Times.

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Uniformed man standing at checkpoint counter and looking at monitor with X-ray of luggage.

“From a security standpoint, they can make very precise decisions about what materials are in their bag: is it a potentially threatening material or is it benign? That’s better security, better decisions,” said Kevin Riordan, head of checkpoint solutions at Smiths Detection.

One of the main causes of long wait times at airport security is people taking these items out of their bags or forgetting to take them out and having the bags checked manually. This move will significantly reduce the time it takes for passengers to go through security.

Travelers in long lines at Denver International Airport passing the Transportation Security Administrations 800

Will the United States be next?

The United States has already been testing CT scanners since 2018 at airports across the country, including Los Angeles International Airport, New York John F. Kennedy International Airport, Oakland International Airport, San Diego International Airport , Nevada Harry Reid International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

In March of this year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it would spend more than $780 million on hundreds of CT scanners that would allow you to leave your laptops, liquids and other devices in your carry-on luggage.

The TSA installed 38 scanners this summer at locations across the US and has plans to install the full 938 scanners in the coming years, with the goal that these scanners will create a smoother airport process.

A TSA agent searches luggage at an airport

TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a March 2022 statement that the scanners “provide our frontline officers with one of the best tools available to screen passengers’ carry-on items and also enhance the experience for passengers.” passengers by allowing them to have more items in their hand luggage. -in the bags during the selection process”.

There is currently no set date for when the US will follow suit and implement the no-liquid restriction, but the US will come under pressure as other countries implement the technology and more airports lift the ban.

Unidentified people lined up for security and passport control in Fort-Lauderdale

Meanwhile, certain US airports have decided to relax airport restrictions in other ways. More than 20 years after 9/11, six airports have decided to allow visitors to escort travelers to their gates, even if they don’t have a ticket.

Ticketed-only passengers was a rule first introduced after 9/11, and while the process isn’t simple (companions must present government-issued ID and pass a background check), it’s still a step in direction to relax certain restrictions that were first implemented as a temporary measure.

Man put mobile phone in tray for airport security check

Why was there a ban on liquids?

The 100 ml rule was put in place at the time as a temporary measure following a transatlantic terror plot in 2006, where terrorists had planned to shoot down seven flights leaving Heathrow with liquid explosives disguised as soft drinks.

The new CT technology will use advanced algorithms to detect explosives, including liquid explosives and other dangerous items. According to Security Magazine, “The system applies algorithms for the detection of explosives by creating a 3D image that can be viewed and rotated 360 degrees in three axes for full visual analysis of the image by a transportation security officer. This technology creates a clear image of a bag’s contents, allowing the system to automatically detect explosives, including liquids, by taking hundreds of images with an X-ray camera that rotates around the conveyor belt.”

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