TSA looks into new liquid scanning technology

7:13 AM, Nov 12, 2013   |    comments
A Transportation Security Administration officer was killed Friday at Los Angeles International Airport, in the first death in the line of duty since the agency was created a decade ago. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)
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(CNN) - A liquid bomb, it was the devious weapon of choice in the chilling 2006 plan to blow up as many as 10 U.S.-bound flights from the United Kingdom.

The 2006 plot, foiled. But since then, for the past 7 years, flyers have been restricted to this no more than 3.4 ounces of liquids allowed in carry-on bags both in the  U.S. and Europe.

Now, new technology could allow airports around the country to ease the  rules.  London is taking the first step toward the goal of lifting restrictions on liquids by 2016 by installing new liquid scanning technology at Heathrow Airport.  The Ohio-based company which developed the machines says it scans containers in less than 10 seconds, uses radio frequency and  ultrasonic technology and alerts security personnel of suspicious substances.  The company didn't specify the margin of error only saying it was "very low and varied on factors such as the type of container." all European airports have been mandated to have technology capable of scanning for liquid explosives by 2014.

But what about the U.S.? The TSA tells CNN developing liquid scanners that would allow them to lift restrictions "remains a long-term goal," but Chad Wolf a former TSA assistant administrator says that change won't come anytime soon. 

"The EU is testing liquid explosive scanners, very similar to what the TSA is doing, but it all comes back to the technology. Is the technology ready for prime time." and I think as of today it's not.

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