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‘Gamechanger’: UK airports won’t ask you to put electronic gadgets, liquids in plastic trays from next year

From as early as 2024, UK airports won’t ask passengers to keep their liquids and electronic gadgets in plastic trays for scanning.

In an effort to alleviate a significant backlog at the check-in counters, airports in the UK are developing next-generation baggage scanners that will permit travellers to keep liquids and laptop computers in their luggage.

At major UK airports, the new technologies – expected to be in place by 2024 – are intended to shorten the lengthy wait for travellers, who deposit their beverages and electronic gadgets into plastic trays. One regulation, restricting liquid container sizes to 100 millilitres, is unlikely to alter any time soon.

The COVID-19 epidemic has forced the UK to delay the installation of new scanners by two years, until 2024. The new technology wasn’t originally made available in the UK. CT luggage scanners provide a 3D picture that can be examined and rotated on three axes in airports including Helsinki and Schiphol in Amsterdam, as well as in a number of US airports.

Heathrow and Gatwick airports are testing the new 3D luggage screening technology. Major UK airports have been informed by the Department for Transport (DfT) that outdated screening equipment must be completely replaced by the summer of 2024.

The DfT has said that the requirement — which has been in place since 2006 — remains in place even as some airports already test the new systems.

According to an article from The Times, the limitation on taking liquids larger than 100 ml will be lifted within two years in addition to the new regulations requiring computers to be removed from carry-on bags.

Insiders predicted that the shift will be a “game-changer,” leading to much shorter security line wait times and a sharp decline in the usage of plastic in airports as travellers would no longer be obliged to put liquids in plastic bags, as per the publication.

In what was initially thought to be a temporary measure, the 100ml rule was implemented in the wake of the foiled transatlantic Islamist terror plot in 2006. Using liquid explosives disguised as soft drinks, terrorists intended to bring down seven flights leaving from Heathrow. Since 9/11, it would have been the biggest terror attack in the West by al-Qaeda.

(With agency inputs)

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