Thanks to the introduction of cutting-edge CT scanners, the hassle of limiting liquids to 100ml has been removed at London City and Teesside airports. Olivia Palamountain reports
The London City airport experience is becoming even more seamless with the introduction of high-tech CT scanners that obviate the need for passengers to limit their hand luggage liquids to 100ml. Teesside is also using new technology.
London City airport replaced all its X-ray machines with CT scanners last month. The transition will also spell an end for plastic bags at security, contributing to a reduction in waste every year.
Existing restrictions on liquids in hand luggage have been in place since 2006, but travellers can now carry up to two litres of liquid through security, along with all electronics.
The move comes after the government set a June 2024 deadline for most UK airports to install the machines – back in December, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said we would be seeing even more of the new technology this year, calling it the “biggest shake-up of airport security rules in decades.”
“By 2024, major airports across the UK will have the latest security tech installed, reducing queuing times, improving the passenger experience, and most importantly detecting potential threats,” he said.
This new generation of scanners use CT (computed tomography) technology allow security agents to examine the contents of passengers’ hand luggage in one go. They are already used in airports such as Schiphol in Amsterdam.
As explained by the Department for Transport, a CT scanners “essentially provides a 3D image of what’s in passengers’ bags.” UK airports will combine this technology with “highly advanced threat detection algorithms”.
However, travellers are warned to check the return rules for carrying liquids at any airport which they may travel or transfer through.
“Many destinations may not have implemented this new technology,” the Department for Transport previously said.
Kevin Harrison, managing director of Good Travel Management, says: “This small change is sure to provide business travellers with more flexibility for packing and could help save on the cost of purchasing a checked bag.
“In addition to this, travellers will no longer be required to remove electronics like laptops, tablets or other large electrical items from their hand luggage ahead of security checks, significantly speeding up time spent going through security.
“The changes come as part of the recent rollout of new advanced CT X-ray scanners that will be introduced across all major UK airports, with the government giving airline bosses until June 2024 to take up the new technology.
“The improved security measures will mean airport staff are able to see hand luggage contents in 3D (as opposed to previous 2D), improving the detection of potential threats while reducing queuing times and improving the overall passenger experience.
“While the changes will undoubtedly provide a more efficient service to all passengers, corporate travellers are sure to feel the greatest benefit. The new rules allow those travelling solely with cabin luggage – as most business tourists do – to overcome the hurdle of slow security checks, enabling them to move quickly throughout airports and get on with doing business.
“However, it’s important to note business travellers will still need to check what security measures are in place ahead of travelling, particularly when flying overseas, as this may differ depending on the airport.”