After many expectations from the travel industry and travellers alike, the government has set a deadline for airports to relax cabin bag rules concerning liquids and laptops under new legislation that has been released.
The Department for Transport has set a deadline for June in 2024 for all airports in the UK to install new security technology that will allow the airports to relax cabin bag rules surrounding passengers carrying liquids and laptops onto their flights. The 100ml rule on liquid in hand luggage has been a point of contention within the travel industry and for many passengers since it was first put in place in 2006.
UK airports will be required to install new security machines with better technology that is less limiting to the passengers. This new technology will mean tablets, laptops, and liquids up to 2 litres will be allowed to remain in a traveller’s cabin bag under the new rules. This could be a big game changer for many travellers who might be less reluctant about air travel.
The current cabin bag rules were introduced in 2006 in an attempt to counter terrorist threats from liquid explosives. In order to combat the threat, travellers are only allowed to bring 100ml of liquid in their carry-on bag, which must be in a clear plastic bag that is removed at security.
Mark Harper, the UK Transport Secretary, said, “The tiny toiletry has become a staple of airport security checkpoints, but that’s all set to change. I’m streamlining cabin bag rules at airports while enhancing security.
“By 2024, major airports across the UK will have the latest security tech installed, reducing queuing times, improving the passenger experience, and most importantly detecting potential threats.
“Of course, this won’t happen straight away – this is going to take two years to be fully implemented. Until then, passengers must continue following the existing rules and check before travelling.”
The commitment to these new technological advancements for airports comes after several trials were conducted at airports, starting in 2018. These trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of the new CT X-ray scanning technology that will allow for more relaxed cabin bag rules. The equipment provides a 3D image of the travellers’ bag contents and deploys threat detection algorithms. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is already a regular user of this technology.
The Airport Operators Association policy director, Christopher Snelling, said, “This investment in next generation security by the UK’s airport operators will provide a great step forward for UK air travel, matching the best in class around the world. It will make the journey through the UK’s airports easier and air travel itself more pleasant.”
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