Discourse/materiality

Claudia Aradau, Martin Coward, Eva Herschinger, Owen D. Thomas, Nadine Voelkner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In August 2006, UK police discovered a plot to destroy aircraft destined for the United States using homemade explosive concealed in drinks bottles. In response to the plot, airplane passengers’ hand luggage was subject to an outright ban. Only the barest essentials (such as travel documents, wallets, baby food and nappies) were permitted on board, and such items had to be carried by passengers in a separate transparent plastic bag. Although the restrictions on hand luggage have now been relaxed, strict rules remain in place limiting the amount of liquid that passengers can carry onto a flight in hand luggage. By 2009, it was estimated that the fluids ban had cost the British aviation industry £100 million and led to the employment of several thousand more security staff (Webster 2009). The ban also had a significant impact on travellers: At Heathrow Airport two tonnes of alcohol were confiscated every month along with thousands of bottles containing perfumes and toiletries; at Newcastle Airport, 450 litres of material – from sun cream to water and jam – were seized every day (Webster 2009). With the development of new technological devices able to scrutinize liquids within hand luggage, the EU passed regulations requiring airports to lift the liquids ban by 2013. At the time of writing, however, a number of actors – among them the Airport Operators Association – have refused to comply arguing that the new devices are not sufficiently developed to handle the volume of passengers and would cause chaos at airports (Massey 2012). The liquids ban continues.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Security Methods
Subtitle of host publicationNew Frameworks for Analysis
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Pages57-84
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781134716197
ISBN (Print)9780415712941
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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