Travellers at Heathrow Airport will soon be able to get through security screening faster thanks to new scanning technology.
London’s busiest airport is investing millions in computer tomography (CT) security scanners that will let passengers keep laptops and liquids inside their carry-on bags, speeding up the security process.
The news is also a step in the right direction for the environment, as the airport will scrap obligatory plastic bags for liquids. The 100ml liquid limit — introduced in 2006 after the discover of a liquid bomb plot — will remain in place.
London’s busiest airport will invest £50 million (Dh233 million) in the technology, which will be rolled out across all terminals and airport security lanes over the coming years. Completion is due by 2022.
The new scanners will cut airport security screening times as passengers will be able to load bags on to security belts without having to remove anything from their luggage.
Similar to CAT scanners that are currently used in hospitals, the technology produces detailed 3D-images of passengers' bags. This will make it easier for airport staff to see the contents of each bag, without having to look inside. The current technology uses X-ray scans which are much harder for staff to decipher. Advancements in technology will also allow airport computers to be able to detect explosives and dangerous liquids more effectively than the human eye can.
Chris Garton, Heathrow Chief Operations Officer said: "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.”
The technology is already in place in other airports in Europe and the USA. London Heathrow is the first airport in the UK to invest in the scanners after deeming trials of the technology successful.