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London City Airport Will Let Passengers Take up to Two Litres of Liquids in Their Hand Luggage as New Security Equipment is Rolled Out

London City Airport Will Let Passengers Take up to Two Litres of Liquids in Their Hand Luggage as New Security Equipment is Rolled Out

Security rules at London City Airport (LCY) have been completely overhauled in the run-up to the Easter holidays, and passengers no longer have to remove liquids or electronics from their hand luggage and can pack as much as two litres of liquids in their carry-on baggage.

The rules have been shaken up after the East London airport fitted out its security checkpoints with new Computed Tomography (CT) x-ray screening machines that create 3D images of the contents of luggage and use sophisticated algorithms to detect weapons, explosives and other prohibited items, including liquid explosives.

The British government has set a 2024 deadline for major UK airports to fit out security checkpoints with the technology, and London City has become the second-only airport in the country to roll out the scanners.

That might be in part because the airport only has three security lanes. Two lanes already had the CT scanners installed, but there couldn’t be a complete shakeup of security rules until the third and final scanner was installed at the end of March.

Critics of the scanners say they require more training than previous generation x-ray machines and that reviewing each bag actually takes longer, but it’s still hoped that the overall security experience will be much quicker because passengers no longer have to remove anything from their bags and sort items into different trays.

The scanners are being rolled out in airports across Europe as well as further afield, but Britain remains one of the few countries to announce that their introduction will bring the end to onerous liquid restrictions.

Existing restrictions were hastily brought in when British and American intelligence services foiled the transatlantic liquid bomb plot in 2006.

Terrorists intended to take advantage of a massive vulnerability in the airport security regime by smuggling liquid explosives disguised as bottles of soft drinks onto commercial jets and detonating them over the Atlantic Ocean.

For the last 16 years, the only surefire way to reduce the risk posed by liquid explosives was to limit the number of liquids that passengers could bring on board.

For now, only passengers travelling from London City and Teeside airport will be able to benefit from the new rules, and passengers flying out of all other British airports will still need to comply with the 100ml liquid rule.

In the United States, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it remains “years away” from lifting hand luggage liquid restrictions because of the slow rollout of CT scanning equipment at the nation’s airports.

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