Large-size liquids back on planes by 2013?

By Michael Flux, October 27 2010
Large-size liquids back on planes by 2013?

Those zip-lock plastic bags and tiny bottles may soon be a thing of the past.

The wide-scale installation of new security scanners which can detect explosives in liquids, gels and even make-up compacts is set to lift the current limits on bringing liquids onto your flight as carry-on luggage.

Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization Raymond Benjamin says the ICAO's worldwide ban will be lifted “in the next two years” due to the installation of the scanners at most airport security checkpoints by 2012.

Japan has had similar scanners in place for a number of years, although most other countries have been slower off the mark.

The European Union has already committed to upgrading all airports across Europe to the screening equipment by April 2013, and has ruled that "by 29 April 2013 at the latest, all liquids will be allowed in cabin baggage and will be screened. By that date, the current restrictions on the carriage of liquids in cabin baggage will end."

However, there is an understandable reluctance in the US to tow the ICAO's looser line. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told news service AP that the scanner technology isn’t ready and that Benjamin's remarks were "premature."

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