IT has sent stress levels soaring among airport users since its introduction but the strict limit on liquids allowed in hand luggage is to be lifted in 2010.
New technology that can tell the difference between liquid explosives and harmless substances is being tested in the US, Britain and France, officials in Brussels said yesterday.
For the past two years, passengers going through security at any EU airport, including those in Ireland, have been limited to carrying drinks or toiletries of 100ml per container and no more containers than fit in a one-litre plastic bag.
The restrictions have proved particularly frustrating for short-haul travellers not checking baggage into the airplane hold.
But the new scanners are expected to be in airports in about 18 months, according to European Commission spokesman Jens Mester. "We are confident that using this technology at airports will be possible by 2010," he said yesterday.