Airline passengers are set to benefit from quicker and easier airport security checks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans for all major UK airports to introduce ground-breaking new 3D cabin baggage screening equipment.
In addition to the world leading security measures already in place at UK airports, the new 3D technology, using the most advanced imaging systems available, will keep people even safer by providing security personnel with better images of cabin baggage. This could mean in future passengers may be able to keep liquids and electrical equipment, like laptops, in their cabin baggage while it is screened. Once in place, the 100ml liquid limit may no longer apply and passengers could take liquids, like a bottle of water, through security.
However, passengers will still be required to remove their laptops and liquids from their cabin bags for security screening, until this equipment is introduced at airports. It will be rolled out over the next few years, with the Department for Transport requiring all major UK airports to have the technology by 1 December 2022.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: 'We are home to the largest aviation network in Europe, with millions of people passing through our airports every year for work, holidays and family visits.
'We’re set to streamline those trips with the roll-out of this ground-breaking technology – cutting down hassle for travellers and improving security measures.
'By making journeys through UK airports easier than ever, this new equipment will help boost the vital role our airports play in securing the UK’s position as a global hub for trade, tourism and investment.'
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added: 'The new screening equipment will improve security and make the experience smoother and less stressful for passengers. It could also mean an end to passengers having to use plastic bags or rationing what they take away with them.
'As an outward looking global nation, our transport hubs are more important than ever, and investing in our security infrastructure means we are investing in our nation’s future.'
Heathrow Airport is currently trialling the new 3D equipment which will be gradually rolled out at other UK airports. The innovative new equipment may have the potential to reduce the amount of time required for security screening and could significantly decrease the amount of plastic used at major UK airports, with passengers no longer required to put their liquids in plastic bags before being screened.
Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality and Chair of the Tourism Alliance said: 'The new technology being rolled out should make for a smoother, more enjoyable passenger experience and will bolster the UK’s international reputation as traveller-friendly. Having passed through security more quickly, and with less hassle, passengers will be able to relax and begin to enjoy their holiday sooner.'
Heathrow CEO, John Holland Kaye, also said: 'We’re proud to be at the forefront of this new generation security equipment. This technology will transform the passenger experience, making air travel simple, streamlined and more secure through the UK’s only hub airport.'
Image - Heathrow Airport