Why are we still taking our laptop and liquid containers through the scanner at the airport?

Who hasn't ever found themselves stuck in line at the airport when suddenly, an airport employee asks you to take out bags that will soon be scanned for any electronic device or container of liquid? Another slowdown on the way to your vacation, but a need for safety.

9/11 represents a major turning point for airport security. To give a scale of this change, before this date it was possible to board a plane with a knife less than 15 cm long. Overnight, security measures were tightened and tightened around the world. Travelers were suddenly forced to remove their shoes, belts, and outer clothing (jackets, coats, etc.), as well as phones, laptops, liquids, and anything else that could be used as a travel item. an improvised explosive device.

Processes that took several years and that disappear over time, but also more effective technologies and control methods. In many countries, including France, you no longer have to take off your shoes during checks. But why should you (still) take your laptop out of your bag?

The machine your bags and electronics go through is an x-ray scanner. The main reason you need to take your laptop out of your bag is because its battery and other mechanical components are too dense for x-rays be able to penetrate them effectively, especially if the technology is less recent. The same goes for power cords and other electronic devices such as tablets and cameras.

If these devices are in your bag, it is not possible for security officers to determine if there is a risk. They are then forced to flag the bag for a physical search, which slows down the process. This makes it easier to remove all devices from scratch.

A laptop inside a bag can also hide other items that could be dangerous. The separate scan lets you see its internals on the screen. In some cases, you may even be asked to activate it to prove that it is indeed a working computer.

Some airports have implemented a 3D scanner that allows travelers to take their luggage through security without having to remove their laptop. If you're not prompted to remove yours from your bag, it's probably because one of these expensive systems is being used.

The end of liquid content restriction?

But improving technology won't eliminate the delays caused by airport screening. The reason these controls represent a significant problem has to do with the speed at which the staff scans the images (which dictates the speed of the corridor).

The future 3D scanner at Marignane airport could remove another rule that irritates travelers.

Since 2006, airline passengers worldwide can only carry liquids with a maximum capacity of 100 ml in their hand luggage. The rule was introduced in 2006 when British police uncovered a terrorist plot to explode liquids disguised as soft drinks on a series of transatlantic flights.

After this discovery, hand luggage was completely banned on planes as a precaution. This measure was later relaxed after tests were carried out to determine how much liquid could be carried safely and a limit of 100ml was introduced. Therefore, passengers can only take one liter of liquid during security checks, in containers of a maximum of 100 ml each. These containers must be separated, in a clear resealable bag and removed from carry-on bags when going through security scanners. Soon ancient history?

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