In November 2006, new limits were introduced to air travel, meaning passengers could only carry bottles up to 100ml in their hand luggage that had to fit into a 20cm x 20cm plastic bag. Before placing carry-on bags through the security scanners, passengers had to remove the bag containing their liquids, as well as any electrical appliances, such as laptops, iPads or kindles, so they could be properly scanned.
These restrictions are not only an inconvenience to passengers, but they also slow down the security process and increase queuing time.
Improving customer experience
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently announced plans for all major UK airports to roll out 3D baggage screening equipment before the end of 2022. This technology is known as Computed Tomography (CT).
Johnson says that the new scanners will cut down on “hassle” for travellers, while at the same time improving security. These developments should help boost the vital role our airports play in securing the UK’s position as a global hub for trade, tourism and investment.
CT is the latest checkpoint X-ray scanning equipment that is currently being rolled out across the UK’s major airports. The technology used is similar to the CT technology used in the medical field.
Currently, screening technology for carry-on bags uses 2D images, however, this new CT technology applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of any threatening items by creating 3D images that can be viewed and rotated 360 degrees for a thorough analysis.
CT technology can create such a clear picture of the contents of a bag that computers are able to automatically detect anything that should not be present. In the future, the goal is for customers to keep laptops and liquids inside carry-on bags when going through security, drastically speeding up the process and improving security.
£50 million investment
Heathrow has revealed that it is spending £50 million in order to roll out the new technology over the next few years. Heathrow will be the first airport in the UK to install the equipment, which it has been trialling since 2017.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said that aviation companies will be paying for the changes, rather than the taxpayer.
The introduction of this new technology will be a welcome change. Travelling can be stressful as it is, and a lengthy security process can add to this. The introduction of the CT technology scanners will speed up the security process, as well as causing less hassle and stress to passengers, especially those travelling with children.
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