DALLAS – The UK government has announced that from 2024, passengers will no longer have to empty their bags of electrical items such as tablets or laptops and carry up to two litres of liquid when passing through airport security.
New cutting-edge 3D scanners which use CT X-ray technology will be capable of showing security officers a more detailed image of passenger luggage, ‘as well as deploying highly advanced threat detection algorithms.’ These will have to be installed in most UK airports by June of that year.
A previous deadline of 2022, set for the installation in 2019 by then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. Trials of the equipment at some UK airports since 2018 have demonstrated the effectiveness of the new scanners.
“A Staple of Airport Security”
Speaking of the changes, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said, “The tiny toiletry has become a staple of airport security checkpoints, but that’s all set to change. I’m streamlining cabin bag rules at airports while enhancing security.
“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.”
2006 Terror Plot
The 100ml liquid limits were introduced in November 2006, following a three-month total ban on all liquids from aircraft cabins. This was due to British Police announcing they had foiled a terrorist plot to blow up as many as ten aircraft using explosives hidden in liquid bottles.
The technology has been in used at several airports around the world for some time, including Amsterdam (AMS), Atlanta (ATL) and Chicago (ORD). It is now hoped that the rollout across the UK will ‘further enhance our airports’ ability to detect prohibited items but with greater convenience for passengers.’
However, the current rules will remain in place for the next two years, and Harper said until then, “passengers must continue following the existing rules and check before travelling.”
Featured Image: Signs like this will (hopefully) soon become a thing of the past at UK Airports. Photo: London Heathrow Airport.