New Screening Technology Currently Under Development
Administration Chief Kip Hawley announced last week an eventual
reduction of restrictions on liquids carried aboard airliners may
become a reality about a year from now.
"I think realistically in one year we, the TSA and foreign
colleagues, will be in a position to relax liquids restrictions. We
are within a year of having the ability to differentiate threat
liquids through the screening process," Hawley (right) said.
New X-ray machines able to detect bomb-making liquids have been
undergoing testing by the TSA, readying the technology for use.
After meeting with the European Union for several days this week,
Hawley said, "We've seen it work in labs, and we've had very
positive communications with international colleagues."
Still in the developmental stage, once perfected the software
required for the sophisticated detection can be implemented rapidly
in the US and abroad, according to the Wall Street Journal.
600 new X-ray machines are slated to be in place at most major
airports by the end of 2008, with another 300 to be deployed by the
end of fiscal year 2009, the WSJ reports.
The new machines will be able to utilize the new software
immediately upon its completion. Hand-held liquid detection devices
may still be employed at smaller airports awaiting the updated
"We are deploying the hardware now to accomplish this. It's just
a matter of having the software completed. It's not ready yet, but
we are highly confident it will be effective," Hawley
A concern currently under scrutiny involves the actual screening
process, specifically if travelers will have to remove liquids from
inside their bags, or if the new system can accurately detect the
Following the London discovery of a plot to blow up airliners
with liquid explosives, restrictions regulating the transport of
liquids have been implemented by the US. The resulting screening
process has been a source of both delays and aggravation for many