US, Canada, Aus­tralia and Europe eas­ing air­port se­cu­rity liq­uid re­stric­tions

SP's MAI - - INTERNAL SECURITY NEWS -

Air trav­ellers in Canada, the US, Aus­tralia and Europe may soon be able to bring larger bot­tles of wa­ter and other liq­uids through air­port se­cu­rity again, thanks to high-tech screen­ing meth­ods that will be able to chem­i­cally iden­tify liq­uid ex­plo­sives. Since 2006, pas­sen­gers have not been al­lowed to bring con­tain­ers of liq­uids, gels or aerosols larger than 100 millil­itres through se­cu­rity at air­ports in Canada and around the world.

But as of Jan­uary 31, 2014, Canada, the US, Aus­tralia, and the Euro­pean Union will be im­ple­ment­ing new high-tech screen­ing meth­ods “with a view to pro­gres­sively re­lax” re­stric­tions on liq­uids car­ried by air pas­sen­gers. The coun­tries out­lined their plan to the In­ter­na­tional Civil Aviation Or­gan­i­sa­tion, the United Na­tions agency that reg­u­lates aviation safety, se­cu­rity and ef­fi­ciency, in a work­ing pa­per pre­sented this past Au­gust 19.

In a state­ment Trans­port Canada con­firmed that “Canada, the US, Aus­tralia and the Euro­pean Union are work­ing with screen­ing au­thor­i­ties, air­lines and air­ports to screen a limited amount of liq­uids to deter­mine to what ex­tent the re­stric­tions can be lifted.”

Canada’s Fed­eral Trans­port Min­is­ter Lisa Raitt said ban­ning all liq­uids from carry-on bags was al­ways a tem­po­rary mea­sure in re­sponse to the threat of ter­ror­ism. Tech­nol­ogy has now caught up and air­ports can bet­ter screen liq­uid items to see if they pose a threat, she said. • Prod­ucts such as baby food that are used to meet “spe­cial di­etary re­quire­ments” or med­i­cal needs. Baby food, for­mula and milk are al­ready ex­empted from the 100-millil­itre limit. Among the com­pa­nies pro­vid­ing such a tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tion is Que­bec City-based Op­tose­cu­rity Inc. It makes a sys­tem that at­taches to ex­ist­ing X-ray ma­chines and uses soft­ware to au­to­mat­i­cally de­tect and flag liq­uid ex­plo­sives and other liq­uid threats. on se­cu­rity im­per­a­tives. Pas­sen­gers who had to go back to se­cu­rity check ar­eas face a se­ri­ous dis­ad­van­tage as the dis­tance be­tween board­ing gates and se­cu­rity coun­ters is con­sid­er­able and takes a long time to cover, rais­ing the risk of missed flights.

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