New scanners could ease liquid restrictions on planes

Hi-tech scanners which could lead to the end of flight restrictions on passengers carrying liquids could cost as little as £30,000 each, their developer said today.

Trials of the equipment developed in Britain were being carried out across Europe, leading some commentators to speculate that the strict rules - which cost the airline industry millions of pounds - could be relaxed within a year.



The X-ray technology, which detects dangerous chemicals inside bottles and cans without having to open them, was developed as a response to the plot to blow up transatlantic flights which was discovered in 2006 and led to the conviction of three al Qaida-inspired terrorists yesterday.



Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive of County Durham-based Kromek, which makes the scanners, said: "We developed this very much as a reaction to the need in the market.



"This will cost under 50,000 dollars (£30,000) and is a very cost-effective solution to the problem.



"As passengers, we all want to go back to how flying used to be, where everything was free, but as was proved yesterday (with the conviction of the bomb plotters), the bans had to be brought in.



"The conviction brings this back up the agenda, but it also highlights the tremendous amount of effort going on, not only from Kromek, but around the world to solve this problem."



Under the guidelines, passengers can only take on board 100ml of liquid, leading to unaware fliers having to discard piles of bottles of toiletries and drinks, and a decline in duty-free alcohol sales.



The Kromek scanners can differentiate between different liquids, which to the human eye look similar, by looking at their "spectral signature".



Dr Basu, 36, said: "This is completely new technology in terms of X-rays. It's like the transition from black and white to colour television.



"This is taking a big step forward.



"The product is ready and we have interest from around the world."



Plotters Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain were convicted at Woolwich Crown Court of conspiracy to murder by detonating home-made liquid bombs on airliners heading from Britain to North America.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
UK Border Control
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: E-Commerce Manager - Fashion Accessories

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Senior / Assistant Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Exciting new position available at an independ...

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Credit Controller

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful candidate will h...

Recruitment Genius: Office Junior / Assistant

£7800 - £13455 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A career opportunity has become ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn