Britain Seeks New Ways to Detect Explosives in Airports

October 19, 2017 Updated: October 19, 2017

LONDON—Britain launched a fund on Friday to support new technology to screen hand-luggage in airports in a bid to detect concealed explosives without passengers having to remove electrical items from their bags.

The Department for Transport said 3 million pounds (US$3.9 million) would be made available to support innovation in the detection of hidden explosives, as well as new methods to recognize when electrical items had been tampered with.

“We need to embrace and encourage the talent from industry that will allow us to stay several steps ahead of those who wish us harm,” security minister Ben Wallace said in a statement.

Britain joined the United States in imposing a so-called “laptop ban” on certain flights from the Middle East earlier this year, restricting passengers from carrying electronic items in their hand luggage.

Travelers are screened by TSA workers at a security check point at O’Hare Airport in Chicago on June 2, 2015. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The restrictions have been lifted on some flights from Turkey and Tunisia following the introduction of new security measures, but remain in place elsewhere.

The transport department said it would consider funding proposals that focused on screening at airport security areas, as well as portable technology which could be used at other points in a passenger’s journey.