There have been some doubts about the restrictions on bringing liquids onto planes since the rules went into effect two years ago.
“We have to be willing to make these kinds of sacrifices if we’re going to prevent scientifically impossible terrorist attacks,” declared The Onion.
But in describing plans to relax the rules, TSA Administrator Kip Hawley does not concede that the threat was overstated, or that it has receded. Instead, he says, technology has improved to allow screeners to distinguish better between harmless liquids and explosives.
OK, I guess. I’m not a terrorist, a scientist or a security expert. And I do think Hawley seems to be a sensible sort. He was the guy who decided we could bring our tweezers on board, on the grounds that it’s probably not possible to tweeze your way through a reinforced cockpit door.
The TSA’s plan is to lift the restriction on quantities of liquids, gels and aerosols. No more 3-ounce limit but we’ll still have to remove liquids from our luggage for inspection.
By the end of 2010 we shouldn’t even have to do that. New x-ray scanners will be able to tell our shampoo from a Molotov cocktail, and we’ll be able to leave it in the bag.