Tuesday, July 16

Heathrow to end ban on liquids in hand luggage



Passengers will be able to carry liquids and laptops through security at Heathrow inside their hand luggage after new security scanners are installed.

The technology, costing £50 million over the next few years, is expected to slash queue times at Britain’s biggest airport.

The plans are also expected to save on plastic as passengers will no longer have to decant small bottles of liquid into transparent bags to pass security.

Scanners, which use the same technology as CT scanners in hospitals, will replace the traditional x-rays used to check bags and produce a clearer picture of their contents.

It will be the first time the technology has been used in the UK, but they are already in place across the US and Europe.

Other airports including Luton are also trialling the scanners.

The ban on liquids over 100ml has been in place since 2006 in response to a transatlantic terror plot.

A cell suspected of links with Al Qaeda planned to blow up six flights from London to the US and Canada, and the discovery of their plot led to an immediate ban, prompting huge queues at airports.

Chris Garton, chief operating officer at Heathrow, told BBC News: “This cutting-edge equipment will not only keep the airport safe with the latest technology but will also mean that our future passengers can keep their focus on getting on with their journeys and spend less time preparing for security screening.”

Heathrow, which handles 480,000 flights a year, is set to get a controversial new runway by 2026.

The airport won the controversial bid beating south London airport Gatwick, who sought to build a second runway.

The expansion plans have been the subject of much criticism, anti-climate change demonstrations and has already faced a High Court challenge at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Earlier this year, the airport introduced an Artificial Intelligence trial in a bid to cut delays caused by bad weather.
20 ultra high-definition cameras were deployed, which feed into an AI system to tell air traffic controllers when planes have cleared the runway.

The technology was installed at the west London hub’s control tower, which is the UK’s highest, making it susceptible to delays caused by low cloud.