New scanner to cut risk of liquids on planes

Hotel News - 14/10/2010

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A new security scanning technology is being developed that, it is hoped, could once again allow passengers to bring bottles of water, soft drinks or shampoo on flights. The technology, under development at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the USA, could mean an end to the current security restrictions.

Officials from the US Department of Homeland Security demonstrated the new scanner recently at the international airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They showed the machine scanning wines, water, shampoo and medicines to ensure the liquids were not explosives.

The new equipment is about the same size as a small refrigerator. It uses magnetic resonance imaging to analyses the chemical composition of liquids. The technology even works through metal packaging and takes just 15 seconds to determine if something is safe or dangerous.

It will still be several years before this new technology can be implemented at airports. In addition to having to undergo thorough testing and certification, production of the units will require the development team partnering with a manufacturer. At the moment, passengers can only carry very limited quantities of liquids on board aircraft.

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