UK airports could scrap 100ml liquid hand luggage rule in 2024

The United Kingdom could remove the 100ml limit for taking liquids through airport security in mid-2024 after the target installation of more advanced security scanners by then, according to reports by local media.

The policy is still under review and a formal announcement is expected in the coming weeks before Dec 25, said The Times, quoting officials.

Passengers are currently required to remove tablets, laptops and liquids from their carry-on bag. Liquids must not exceed 100ml and must be in a clear plastic bag. 

The rule was introduced 16 years ago after a terror plot to bring down seven passenger plane using explosives disguised as soft drinks was foiled. 

3D BAGGAGE SCREENING

Advanced Computed Tomography (CT) security scanners that will allow 3D baggage screening are driving the policy change.

These CT scanners produce a high-resolution 3D scan of passengers’ bags, allowing operators to inspect a bag from every angle. Older machines only produce a 2D image of a suitcase, said The Times. 

According to the newspaper, The Department for Transport (DfT) has told UK’s major airports that older screening technology must be replaced in full by the summer of 2024. 

The deadline for all major UK airports to have the technology was initially December 2022 but that was delayed by the pandemic.

The trial for these CT scanners was announced in 2019 by then-UK prime minister Boris Johnson. 

“The new 3D technology is said to use the most advanced imaging systems available in order to provide security personnel with better images of cabin baggage,” Mr Johnson said in 2019.

“Once in place, the 100ml liquid limit may no longer apply and passengers could take liquids, like a bottle of water, through security.”

Then-UK transport secretary Grant Shapps said the new screening equipment will “improve security and make the experience smoother and less stressful for passengers”.