Heathrow airport is set to deploy new screening equipment that could end the need for passengers to remove liquids and laptops from their carry-on bags when going through security.
The airport is working with the Department for Transport (Department for Transport: The UK government department responsible for the English transport network, as well as transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that are not devolved.) to roll out new computed tomography (CT) scanning equipment across its terminals by 2022 as part of a £50 million investment. Once completed, Heathrow says the devices will have the potential to cut the amount of time required for security screening.
The move could also reduce the amount of plastic used at the airport, with passengers no longer needing to put their liquids in clear bags before being screened.
New 3D CT scanners are an advancement on the current 2D versions used by airports today. They provide security personnel with a three-dimensional view of bags and give them the ability to rotate the image 360 degrees to show the contents of the item.
Similar devices were trialled by American Airlines and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at JFK airport last year.
Heathrow will be the first UK airport to trial the technology and is working with the Department for Transport: The UK government department responsible for the English transport network, as well as transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that are not devolved. to help other hubs around the country begin trials of their own.
COO 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 (pictured, centre, with Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye, right) 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.”