Birmingham set to become first major UK airport to scrap 100ml liquids rule

By Kelly Ranson
Home » Birmingham set to become first major UK airport to scrap 100ml liquids rule

Birmingham looks set to be the first major UK airport to allow passengers to carry more than 100ml off liquid in their hand-luggage after installing new 3D security scanners.

The airport is the only major gateway in the UK to confirm it is on track to roll out the new scanners for all passengers by the Government’s deadline of 1 June.

While other major airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow have already swapped some of their old scanners for the new technology, Birmingham is the only one so far to guarantee 3D scanners will be used for all passengers from June.

It will mean that passengers flying from the airport won’t need to remove large electronic gadgets like laptops and tablets from their hand luggage, and they’ll be able to carry liquids in bottles of up to two litres.

Birmingham Airport CEO Nick Barton said: “Birmingham Airport has invested £60m in a new security hall and scanning equipment.  From the 1 June our customers will start to see the benefits of the new security systems as we roll them out which will result in a speedier, simpler pre-flight security screening process for our customers.”

London City Airport and Teesside Airport were the first UK airports to fully install the new scanners and scrap the 100ml rules, but they are much smaller than Birmingham, which handled more than 11m passengers last year. London City saw 3.4m travellers pass through in 2023, while Teesside’s figures sat close to 200,000.

EasyJet this week launched its first flights from Birmingham, from where it is operating to 16 destinations, nine of which will be served year-round.

Heathrow – which has 146 security lanes – said it is investing more than £1bn in new scanners but is yet to give a date for completion.

Gatwick said it has made ‘significant progress’ in installing 3D scanners in both terminals, and plans to have its rollout completed by the first quarter of 2025.

London Luton Airport told us that it is ‘continuing to work towards the June deadline’ but didn’t confirm it will have all the scanners in place by then.

Likewise, Manchester, East Midlands and Stansted airports are currently rolling out the new technology and expect the full programme to be completed by 2025, but they’ve given no set date.

Edinburgh Airport also confirmed it will have a number of new scanners in place by June, with the remainder by the end of the year. Glasgow Airport said it is working on the changes, but did not give specific completion dates.

Birmingham is reminding passengers that until 1 June they must comply with existing hand luggage rules, and even after that date, they should check the latest hand luggage rules for all airports on their itinerary when packing for a trip.

In Europe, it is a similar picture to the UK with airports gradually adding technology with trial lanes in place in many destinations. As far as popular tourist spots go, Majorca’s Palma Airport is expected to be ready by the end of 2024 and Malaga in 2025.

Read more: What you need to know about new hand luggage rules

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