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U.K. Airports Could Miss The Deadline To Install New Scanners

The 100ml liquid ban could be extended after failing to install new security screening scanners.


British Airways tails at Heathrow Airport. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | James Dinsdale)

U.K. airports could fall short of upgrading their screening equipment by June 1. As a result, Britons and travelers around the world won’t see speedier queues at the security checkpoints. Back in 2022, the U.K. government scrapped the current 100ml liquid rule.

The strict rules were introduced in 2006 following a terrorist threat. The liquids have been limited to 100ml or under and must be in a transparent plastic bag with passengers being asked to remove some items from hand luggage, such as laptops and liquids. In 2019, the government announced an end to the strict rule by the end of 2022 with the computed tomography (CT) scanner.

Passengers could bring up to two liters of liquid in response to the new scanner. The new scanner also removes the requirement for cosmetics to be placed in separate bags. According to the U.K. government, CT scanner could provide a 3D image of what’s in the passenger’s bag and deploy highly advanced threat detection algorithms. More importantly, the passengers could stand to benefit from the new scanner, which are in use by Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, Chicago’s O’Hare, and New York’s LaGuardia airports among others.

“We are in regular contact with airports as they move towards June 2024 deadline for upgrading their screening equipment and processes. For security reasons we don’t talk in detail about aviation security measures,” a Department for Transport spokesperson said.

Most airports in the U.K. have missed the mark, but two airports successfully rolled out the new scanner in 2023, Teesside International Airport became the first airport to introduce the new scanner in the U.K. Afterwards, London City Airport followed in Teesside’s footsteps to use the new technology. According to London City Airport, the new technology processes 30% more passengers per hour.

The major airports in the country are expected to miss the deadline to install the new scanners.

Big Three Airports Could Miss The Deadline

According to I News, London’s Heathrow Airport couldn’t guarantee the new scanner rollout by June, but the airport has begun introducing the new scanner in three of its four terminals. Heathrow must meet the challenge of “fitting the new scanners and retraining staff without impacting the flow of passengers.” Heathrow revealed that the new equipment could cost £50 million ($63.7 million). Meanwhile, London’s Gatwick Airport said does not expect to finish installation until early next year.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) also said the installation won’t be completed until 2025. The group owns Manchester Airport, London Stansted Airport and East Midlands Airport in the country,

The government may consider allowing the airports to extend the deadline for installing the equipment. However, the airports could face penalties without the agreement from the government.

Pete Ainsley


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