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Date:24/07/18

CT scanners at Heathrow could spell ‘beginning of the end’ of liquids ban

The introduction of more powerful 3D scanners for hand luggage at Heathrow has been hailed as the "beginning of the end" of the liquids ban on flights.
 
Computed tomography (CT) scanners - already widely used in hospitals for patients' X-rays - can give a detailed 3D image of inside a person's suitcase.
 
Already used to check hold baggage, the Department for Transport said it will deploy CT scanners at a "small number" of security lanes in Heathrow for six to 12-month trials along with automatic explosive detection technology.
 
Some passengers using those lanes will therefore not need to remove their laptops or liquids from their luggage, as the scanner allows security personnel to look at the contents from every angle.
 
"It is the beginning of the end of the liquid ban and it's long overdue," said Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security Magazine, in an interview with the Sunday Times.
 
The current rules, introduced in 2006 after a terrorist plot to bomb transatlantic flights using liquid explosives, state that travellers must keep liquids of up to 100ml in transparent plastic bags to be scanned separately from other items.
 
Officials have not specified which terminals they are testing the scanners in, and the Department for Transport stressed that passengers should still expect to need to remove items from their bags if asked to.
 
CT scanners have been tested at several international airports including John F Kennedy in New York and Geneva airport, which both trialled the technology earlier this month, according to the Sunday Times.
 
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: "The UK has some of the strictest security measures in the world, and we are leading the way in using new technology to improve security screening and provide a better experience for passengers.
 
"We already have state of the art automated screening lanes in place at many of our airports, and new X-ray technology with automatic explosive detection capability is now being trialled in the UK.
 
"If successful, this could lead in future to passengers no longer needing to remove items from hand luggage for screening."




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