Heathrow Airport is investing £50m on rolling out next-generation scanning equipment which will allow passengers to keep liquid and laptops inside their cabin baggage when passing through security.
The new technology could mean travellers will face shorter queues as well as significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastics at the airport, doing away with the need to place liquids in bags before being screened.
Heathrow has been working with the Department for Transport on the technology since 2017 and will be the first airport to trial the scheme. It hopes to install the new equipment across its terminals by 2022. It aims to assist other airports up and down the country to look at beginning their own trials in the coming months.
It consists of new computed tomography (CT) security equipment which will have the potential to cut the amount of time required for security screening and will provide even better images of cabin baggage more quickly.
Currently there are rules banning travel with liquids, gels and pastes of more than 100 millilitres, sharp items and tools.
Large electrical items such as laptops or tablets can be taken into the cabin, but must be removed from hand luggage at the search area and placed in the tray.
Heathrow Chief Operations Officer, Chris Garton, said: “Heathrow has a proud history of investing in making every journey better and that’s why we’re delighted to be rolling out our new CT equipment. 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.”
Aviation Minster, Baroness Vere added: “Passenger safety remains our top priority and this programme clearly shows the huge importance we place on security.
“This innovative new equipment will ensure Heathrow continues to provide a safe and smooth travel experience for passengers, as we look to roll out this new screening technology at airports across the country.”