New scanning tech could ease liquid restrictions

Kromek bottle scannerNew scanning technology being tested in the UK could allow passengers to take liquids over 100ml in volume through security.

The Kromek bottle scanner, making its debut today at Durham Tees Valley Airport, uses X-ray technology to analyse liquids, then compares them to a list of potentially dangerous substances. It can also be used to check gels and aerosols, and its database of substances can be updated as new threats emerge.

With the European ban on liquids in planes expected to be relaxed in 2013, these new scanners will likely become a regular sight at airports.

Currently the technology can only test individual bottles of liquid, which means security checkpoints are likely to screen a only certain percentage of the containers they encounter. But future scanners may be able to scan liquids while they are still inside baggage, minimising the impact on security queues.

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