UK airports are hoping to scrap the rule banning liquids over 100ml in hand luggage.
According to The Times, passengers travelling through UK airports will be able to carry liquids of any size in their hand luggage, including drinks, make-up and other liquids of any size. Currently liquids must be 100ml or under, and have to be carried in a clear plastic bag.
The upcoming change is the result of new technology that allows passengers to keep everything in their bags instead of having to remove laptops and liquids over 100ml at screening for the first time since 2006. Luggage will instead pass through special CT scanners, allowing airport security to check bags from a 3D image.
Trials of the new 3D scanning equipment are already underway at Heathrow, with plans to launch across the UK’s biggest airports by mid-2024.
John Holland-Kay, CEO of Heathrow Airport, told The Times: “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 DFT. By then the normal passenger experience will be that liquids stay in bags”.
The news – described as “a game-changer” by airport insiders – comes after a summer of airport delays due to bag and border control checks. The new technology is expected to alleviate massive queues for passengers, as well as significantly reducing the use of plastic at airports.
However, airport bosses are keen to remind passengers that the 100ml rule is still in place for now, and that there could be some mixed messages in the run-up to 2024.
“As the scanners become more commonplace it will be the case that in some lanes passengers are told not to take stuff out their bags while in other lanes they will still need to,” an aviation source said. “The 100ml rule will stay in place until the rollout of the new technology is complete and is a decision for the DfT [Department for Transport].”