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Device to let passengers at Heathrow depart with larger liquids

Nov. 11, 2013 at 5:46 PM

LONDON, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Airline passengers will soon be able to carry some liquids on board flights departing from London's Heathrow Airport, officials say.

Officials at Battelle, a nonprofit research firm based in Ohio, said screeners at the British airport will begin using scanners in January that test the safety of some liquids, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

Battelle developed the devices and began installing them at Heathrow last week under a phased timetable created by the European Union that will allow some liquids, aerosols and gels onto planes.

The machines will test for explosives by passing a radio frequency wave and an ultrasonic pulse through the liquids. The test will take two to five seconds and will not affect the usability of the liquids, Battelle said.

Passengers in the United States and Europe are currently allowed to take no more than 3.4 ounces of liquid on a plane.

The devices have not yet been adopted by the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration. In a statement the agency said "we aren't ready to move away from the ban on liquids." However, it is testing several devices to screen liquids, including the one made by Battelle.

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