UK airports could scrap restrictions on the amount of liquid you are allowed to carry in your hand luggage on planes by 2024, The Times reports. Currently, you can take no more than 100ml in your hand luggage through airport security.
With the help of new scanning technology, this may no longer be necessary. The new scanners, similar to CT scanners, will give airport security staff a 3D image of the contents of peoples’ bags, rather than a 2D one. They can then rotate the image and zoom in to view the full contents of the bag.
The scanners should also cut down waiting times in airports. It is expected that they will make the checking in process more streamlined than before.
Airports in the UK were criticised earlier in the year for their long waiting times, especially at security checks. In a survey by Which?, Leeds Bradford Airport had the longest waiting times in the country.
However, Liverpool John Lennon Airport is consistently high in the rankings, and was awarded Which? Recommended Status this year.
In joint number one spot, Liverpool received the best rating for queues - including at security. Despite the already smooth service, Liverpool John Lennon Airport welcomes the potential changes to security.
A spokesperson said: “Whilst we have already been successful in keeping queue times down to a minimum here at Liverpool, we are currently on track to meet the 2024 requirements and to welcome the improved enhanced technology and equipment which will undoubtedly improve the customer experience here even further.”
Current security restrictions
The 100ml rule was first introduced in 2006. It was expected to be a temporary measure put in place to deter terrorist attacks, after British police uncovered a plot to blow up several planes using explosives concealed in bottles. However, the rule has remained in place ever since.
Former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, aimed for the scanners to be rolled out in UK airports by the end of 2022. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the effect it had on the aviation and tourism industries, this deadline will not be met.
The scanners have already been trialled in Heathrow Airport as far back as 2017. Chief executive at Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, said to The Times: "We are slowly rolling them out.
“We have just started the expansion of the security area in Terminal 3 which will have more CT scanners and have a deadline of mid-2024 from the [Department for Transport]. By then the normal passenger experience will be that liquids stay in bags.”
However, for now, the restrictions remain in place. A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said to the BBC: "Passengers at UK airports must not carry liquid containers larger than 100ml through security, and both liquids and electronics should be taken out of cabin bags at airport security checkpoints.”