Having just come back from overseas and dealt with the nightmare that is airports, (especially in school holidays and especially with kids in tow..) I was stoked to see the news about London looking to lift the liquids ban when travelling.

New scanning technology being trialled at Heathrow may finally put an end to the annoying requirement of having to empty all liquids from your carry-on and put them into plastic bags. (Which was never a very environmentally friendly solution anyway.)

The scanners will be trialled at London's Heathrow Airport. Photo / Getty Images
The scanners will be trialled at London's Heathrow Airport. Photo / Getty Images

The ban on liquids came in 12 years ago after a foiled terror plot attempt to blow up a transatlantic plane by hiding explosives in small drink bottles.

One attempted act of madness lumped us all with years of inconvenient consequences.

So now a solution may be at hand.. x-ray scanners which produce a 3D image of the contents of your luggage to detect any explosives. It's already been tested in New York and Amsterdam.

Initial tests at Heathrow will last 6 to 12 months and be random.. in an unspecified terminal.


The great hope of course is that it's successful and gets rolled out more widely.. worldwide preferably.

Being able to travel without having to empty out all of your hand luggage will definitely shorten the delays and queues.

Those queues move at a snails pace at the best of times, but particularly in American airports where you're also taking off your shoes belts and jackets.

Currently in NZ, we can only carry liquids, aerosols or gels in containers smaller than 100ml in our carry-on luggage.

And these have to be in clear plastic bags on international flights and removed for pre flight security checks.

There's always confusion at this point, despite all the signs, it's usually a neverending queue of people looking baffled and bewildered as to what needs to come out of their bag and what can stay in.

There's usually also discussions with airport security staff over what qualifies as a liquid, what doesn't, explaining what isn't in a bag and why, arguing over what gets confiscated, or negotiating extra bags for the stuff you forgot about.

Anything that makes this process simpler is a good thing.

I can only hope it goes well in London, that New York and the Netherlands trials are successful too.. and that eventually the ban gets lifted everywhere.. because just speeding up one fraction of the many delays at airports, will be beneficial to everyone.. especially those travelling in large families or with children. ​