Passengers warned liquids ban will remain at most UK airports for up to another year

Airport 3D scanners
By Lisa James
04/04/2024
Home » Passengers warned liquids ban will remain at most UK airports for up to another year

Passengers have been told to check hand luggage rules at their UK departure airport this summer as some won’t have the new scanners that will allow them to carry more liquids in their bags.

The Government has given some airports an extension to its 1 June deadline for introducing the new 3D scanners.

While many airports have already begun rolling out the new scanners, which allow passengers to carry liquids in containers of up to two litres in their hand luggage, so far only Teesside and London City have replaced all of their old scanners.

Some airports have struggled to install the new scanners because of supply chain delays and extensive construction work needed to accommodate them in terminals. The Department for Transport estimates only half of all passengers will be processed by the new scanners by June.

The Government had originally intended for all UK airports to have installed the new scanners by December 2022, but that deadline was moved to June 2024 because of the disruption caused to the aviation industry by COVID.

However, Transport Secretary Mark Harper has said that the deadline won’t be extended beyond next year and he’s warned airports could be fined if they’re not ready by June 2025.

He said: “It’s important we give those airports yet to meet the deadline a second chance to get the job done. Until they do, passengers should continue to check before travelling.

“The Government is also looking to introduce financial penalties for those airports that miss any further deadlines. Powers to achieve this under the Aviation Security Act will be explored and taken forward in the coming months.”

The Transport Secretary added: “Due to issues such as the global supply chain’s continued recovery from the pandemic, some airports have been unable to upgrade their security checkpoints before the 1 June 2024 deadline announced at the end of 2022. Extensions have been given on a case-by-case basis.

“We recognise that installing the new security equipment at busy airports has been a logistical challenge, with some airports having to undertake significant construction work to allow the new, extremely heavy equipment to be fitted. In some cases, airports have been required to construct entirely new screening halls.”

The move has been welcomed by the Airport Operators Association and Airlines UK.

Which UK airports have new 3D scanners?

Last month, Birmingham said it was on track to roll out the new scanners for all passengers by the 1 June deadline – becoming the first major UK airport to do so, although Teesside and London City were the first.

Heathrow told Travel Gossip last month it is investing more than £1bn in new scanners but is yet to give a date for completion.

Gatwick plans to have its rollout completed by the first quarter of 2025 and Manchester Airports Group’s Manchester, East Midlands and Stansted airports also expect rollout in 2025.

London Luton Airport is ‘continuing to work towards the June deadline’; Edinburgh Airport will have a number of new scanners in place by June, with the remainder by the end of the year. Glasgow Airport did not give specific completion dates.

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