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New government-approved airport scanners could see the ban on passengers taking liquids on board aeroplanes being lifted.

The Department of Transport has approved the scanners, which should be installed at every British and EU airport by the end of April 2013. Previous technology had been deemed not fit for purpose by a number of EU governments but this latest generation of scanner has already passed rigorous testing. A number of EU airports have acted as test sites as part of trials for the European Commission’s Liquids Working Group.

Proper implementation of the technology will mean that passengers will no longer be banned from carrying 100ml liquid containers on board their flights. However, they will still have to remove bottles from their carry-on luggage for inspection.

Once in use, the scanners mean that passengers will be allowed to bring their own water bottles on board and toiletries will no longer be subject to confiscation by airport security. Security staff at Stansted Airport alone seize enough liquids to fill 20 household waste bins a day and the figure is even greater at busier airports such as London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

Passengers across UK airports have had everything confiscated from jars of marmite to expensive bottles of champagne. A new survey estimates that liquids worth as much as £10 million a day are seized at British airports up and down the country.

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