by Nick Duffy
Restrictions that prevent people from bringing liquids into UK airports could be lifted within a few years, thanks to new scanner technology.
The 3D luggage scanners, set to be installed at all airports across the UK by December 2022, will eliminate the need for people to remove laptops from their cabin bags for security screenings.
The Department for Transport confirmed that once the scanners are installed, the 100ml limit for liquids will likely "no longer apply," meaning that passengers "could take liquids, like a bottle of water, through security."
The new technology, which uses an advanced imaging system to generate 3D scans of passengers' cabin bags, is already being trialled at Heathrow Airport ahead of the UK-wide roll-out.
End to restrictions
Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye said, "We’re proud to be at the forefront of this new generation security equipment.
"This technology will transform the passenger experience, making air travel simple, streamlined and more secure through the UK’s only hub airport."
The existing restrictions on liquids and electronics remain in place at Heathrow during the trial.
The new technology will end restrictions at airport security (Photo: Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS/Getty Images)
However, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the tech will eventually mean "no more intrusive pulling out your socks and your underwear, having to separate all your liquids and take your laptop out, all that can just stay in the bag and be able to go through."
He said, "The new screening equipment will improve security and make the experience smoother and less stressful for passengers.
"It could also mean an end to passengers having to use plastic bags or rationing what they take away with them."
Less holiday stress
Kate Nicholls, Chair of the Tourism Alliance, added, "The new technology being rolled out should make for a smoother, more enjoyable passenger experience and will bolster the UK’s international reputation as traveller-friendly.
"Having passed through security more quickly, and with less hassle, passengers will be able to relax and begin to enjoy their holiday sooner."
In a release, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, "We are home to the largest aviation network in Europe, with millions of people passing through our airports every year for work, holidays and family visits.
"We’re set to streamline those trips with the rollout of this ground-breaking technology – cutting down hassle for travellers and improving security measures.
"By making journeys through UK airports easier than ever, this new equipment will help boost the vital role our airports play in securing the UK’s position as a global hub for trade, tourism and investment."
Additional reporting by Press Association
This article originally appeared on our sister site, inews