UK airports could scrap 100ml liquid hand luggage security restrictions by 2024

Airports in the UK could scrap their ban on liquids in your hand luggage, thanks to new scanning technology that may be rolled out in the near future.

UK airports could scrap restrictions on the amount of liquid you are allowed to carry in your hand luggage on planes by 2024, The Times reports. Currently, you can take no more than 100ml in your hand luggage through airport security.

With the help of new scanning technology, this may no longer be necessary. The new scanners, similar to CT scanners, will give airport security staff a 3D image of the contents of peoples’ bags, rather than a 2D one. They can then rotate the image and zoom in to view the full contents of the bag.

The scanners should also cut down waiting times in airports. It is expected that they will make the checking in process more streamlined than before.

Airports in the UK were criticised earlier in the year for their long waiting times, especially at security checks. In a survey by Which?, Leeds Bradford Airport had the longest waiting times in the country.

The 100ml rule was first introduced in 2006. It was expected to be a temporary measure put in place to deter terrorist attacks, after British police uncovered a plot to blow up several planes using explosives concealed in bottles. However, the rule has remained in place ever since.

The new technology could significantly cut waiting times at airports.

Former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, aimed for the scanners to be rolled out in UK airports by the end of 2022. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the effect it had on the aviation and tourism industries, this deadline will not be met.

The scanners have already been trialled in Heathrow Airport as far back as 2017. Chief executive at Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, said to The Times: "We are slowly rolling them out.

“We have just started the expansion of the security area in Terminal 3 which will have more CT scanners and have a deadline of mid-2024 from the [Department for Transport]. By then the normal passenger experience will be that liquids stay in bags.”

However, for now, the restrictions remain in place. A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said to the BBC: "Passengers at UK airports must not carry liquid containers larger than 100ml through security, and both liquids and electronics should be taken out of cabin bags at airport security checkpoints.”