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