Heathrow buys new scanners so liquids can be left in bags
Passengers travelling through Heathrow airport will be able to keep their liquids and laptops inside their bags once new security equipment is installed.
The airport is investing £50m in the computer tomography (CT) security scanners, to be rolled out over the next three years, which will be able to provide a clear picture of a bag’s contents.
Heathrow first began testing the CT scanners, which are similar to those used in hospitals, in 2017 and it plans to complete the roll out by 2022.
Passengers have been banned from carrying containers holding more than 100ml of liquid in their hand luggage since August 2006 and, at the moment, smaller bottles of gels and liquid must be placed in clear plastic bags at security.
Heathrow said the 100ml restriction will remain after the introduction of the new scanners, but passengers will be able to leave their liquids in their bags, cutting down on plastic usage and also saving them time.
“This cutting-edge kit will not only keep the airport safe with the latest technology, but will mean that our future passengers can keep their focus on getting on with their journeys and less time preparing for security screening,” said Heathrow chief operations officer Chris Garton.
Aviation minster Baroness Vere added: “Passenger safety remains our top priority, and this programme clearly shows the huge importance we place on security.”
The technology is already being used in the US, including Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport and Chicago’s O’Hare.
The US Transportation Security Administration hopes to deploy 300 of the scanners by 2020.