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Airplane carry-on liquids restrictions may be eased: report

A screening machine capable of discerning harmful liquids from harmless ones will be used at airports in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia, which means carry-on restrictions could be eased, according to a published report.

The Toronto Star said air safety authorities in Canada will begin using screening machines capable of telling the difference between infant milk and liquid explosives in January.

The machines will first be used to test items that are already permitted on airplanes such as medicines, infant formula and baby food, the newspaper said, citing data submitted by the federal government to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

If they work, the ban on any liquids of more than 100 millilitres could be lifted in a few years.

Officials with Transport Canada couldn’t be reached for comment. But the department said in an email, “Canada, the U.S., 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.”

The carry-on restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels were imposed in 2006 following a botched terrorist plot to detonate liquid explosives aboard transatlantic aircrafts flying from the United Kingdom to the U.S. and Canada.

Would you welcome an easing of the restrictions? Share your thoughts in the comments.