The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) should lift its restrictions on carry-on liquids, according to the Association for Airline Passenger Rights (AAPR), which today called on the agency to end its “security theater” by focusing on more effective security measures.
According to AAPR Executive Director Brandon Macsata, TSA’s current 3-1-1 policy for carry-on liquids — 3.4-oz. bottle or less; one quart-sized, clear, plastic zip-top bag; one bag per passenger — is ineffective for several reasons. First of all, he points out, TSA already allows liquids on planes, including those in passengers’ zip-top bags, those in checked luggage, those in medical prescriptions and those purchased by passengers once they pass through security. Second, technologies now exist to test liquids, which are already being utilized in Europe.
“The current policy banning passengers from bringing liquids onto the plane is probably one of the least effective security screenings being employed by the TSA at our nation’s airports,” Macsata said in a statement. “FBI tests have demonstrated terrorists could not bring down a plane with small amounts of liquids, and for years leading security consultants have questioned the effectiveness of the liquid ban, so it is time to end it. Ending the ban would allow TSA agents to better focus on more pressing potential security threats.”
TSA gradually has been moving toward more targeted security screening approaches with the expansion of its PreCheck trusted traveler program. Earlier this year it also tried to lift its ban on pocketknives and sporting equipment, but ultimately kept the ban in place due to vocal objections from security advocates, including flight attendants.
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