EU approval has been granted for a new X-Ray airport scanner that is sophisticated enough to tell the difference between water and liquid explosives.
The machine, which has been both researched and developed in Britain, could soon be set for EU-wide usage, leaving airport passengers once again free to take water bottles on flights.
Whilst this particular ban would not be able to be rescinded until 2013, the news would still surely come as welcome relief to both frequent flyers and those who only go on flights once or twice a year to reach holiday destinations.
The current ban sees anyone travelling on planes departing from the UK unable to carry water brought from outside the airport on to planes, often leaving travellers having to pay extortionate prices in order to buy bottles of water after airport security.
A spokesperson from Kromek, the company that has created the device, stated that the machine was a reliable way of identifying any potential threats to flights because “bottles and containers are individually put in machines and scanned.
“If there is anything dangerous in them the machine will pick it up and there will be an alarm”.
The new technology is far more sensitive than that used by the X-ray machines that are currently in use and in fact makes use of a different wavelength of X-ray. This allows it to distinguish between a far greater range of materials, in the process allowing it to perceive precisely what is in a given container.
Furthermore, the machine is capable of reading the bar code on a bottle of drink, allowing it to match the contents against a database to see if the bottle has been tampered with.