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3D scanners to reduce queues at UK airports

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By Joseph Macey
3D scanners to reduce queues at UK airports

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that all major airports in Britain must have 3D baggage screening equipment before the end of 2022.

Ministers say the new technology will speed up security checks and could see an end to liquid and laptop restrictions.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye said: "There are two big benefits for this. The first is that that it's a much better experience for passengers, you don't have to bring all your liquids in a separate bag, and your laptop in a separate tray - this will be much, much quicker for them.

"The second benefit is much better security. We will be able to detect things that we can't currently detect, and we can anticipate some of the threats that might be coming at us.

"This will allow us to have higher security standards than any other airport in the world when we first introduce these. And it will allow us to get ahead of some of the enemy who are trying to disrupt air travel and that gives us a real advantage in keeping people safe."

The new innovation could eventually mean passengers no longer have to remove liquids and electrical equipment from cabin baggage as they pass through security screening.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: "The actual cost does fall to the aviation side, it's not the taxpayer paying - but very important, and I think actually also a massively important signal that this is global Britain, open for business, whatever happens on the 31st of October.

"We're out there, we're making it easier for people to come and go, and this world-leading technology that's being trialled here today and will be across the country by the end of 2022, just shows that Britain is ready for its future."

The current limit for passengers taking liquid in their cabin baggage is restricted to containers holding no more than 100ml.

The limits have been in place since November 2006. The introduction of the liquid ban came after British police said they had foiled a plot to blow up as many as 10 planes using explosives hidden in drinks bottles.

Heathrow will become the first airport in the United Kingdom to roll out the technology.

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Journalist • Joseph Macey