- BBC News World
One of the most unpleasant aspects of air travel is the experience of going through security before boarding: the long lines that form while you take certain items out of your carry-on bag, the officer holding up the line because they discovered that bottle of wine or half a liter of perfume that are not allowed, and the flight about to leave.
Breathe. There is good news on the horizon. Maybe not this holiday season, but very soon at many of the airports you may be passing through.
The UK government announced that it will remove some of its restrictions on items that can be carried in hand luggage, such as liquids and creams, thanks to the installation of high-tech 3D scanners.
For its part, the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA), since 2018, has tested these devices at 15 airports, including Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and Chicago, with the plan to expand the number of units. at other travel hubs.
if you pass by Schiphol Airport in Amsterdamyou will no longer have to separate your liquids or your laptop from your luggage, since in 2021 it became the first of the large international airports to install and implement the new technology.
Rules vary as to what you’re allowed to bring and what to separate from your carry-on bag when going through security, depending on where you’re flying from.
At most European airports and in the US. No liquids, creams or toothpastes are allowed on board in quantities greater than 100ml. The ones you take within that limit have to fit in a small transparent bag that you must separate from your hand luggage to be scanned independently.
The same should be done with large electronic devices, such as laptops and electronic notebooks.
Those limits have been in place since 2006, after British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up up to 10 planes with explosives hidden in drink bottles.
New security machines will change those rules, allowing up to two liters of liquids (enough for your bottle of water and the wine you bought last minute as a gift) and you will not have to separate anything from your hand luggage.
How do 3D scanners work?
The new scanning technology is based on the computed tomography (CT, for its acronym in English) in 3D, which enhances the detection capacity of potential dangerous elements inside hand luggage.
CT technology is very similar to that used in the medical field, allowing X-ray imaging of detailed sections in different planes and slices.
The conventional type of scanning currently used in most of the world’s airports is 2D x-ray, which only produces a single image projection, sometimes difficult to discern, forcing agents to perform inspection by hand more detailed, delaying the passage through security.
But new CT technology applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives and other threats by creating 3D images that can be viewed and rotated 360 degrees for complete analysis.
According to the TSA site, this state-of-the-art technology makes it possible to detect the shapes and densities of items, including solid or liquid explosives that may pose a threat to civil aviation.
CT scanners have been used to inspect checked baggage and are only now being installed at the gate for passenger security.
CT scan is one of several new technologies which are being tested at various points, the TSA says on its site.
Some of the techniques being developed include automated passenger screening lines to expedite passage, biometric identity verification, and real-time credential authentication technology.
all with a view to improve passenger experience in the short term and increase their security.
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