London City Airport to scrap laptop and liquids rule from April

The new system, slated to be in place by 2024, seeks to cut the wait for passengers to place bottles and electronic devices into plastic trays. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON – Passengers flying through London City Airport will be able to leave laptops and liquids in their bags when passing through security from next year.

The hub, which is currently trialling one security lane equipped with next-generation baggage scanners, plans to introduce the machines on all its lanes by April as part of a partnership with Leidos Holdings, it said in a statement on Friday.

London City said it will be one of the first airports in Britain to offer a full CT – or computed tomography – security proposition.

The airport is popular with business travellers for its short boarding times and proximity to both the City and Canary Wharf financial centres.

Britain isn’t the first country to introduce the new technology, though. Airports including Amsterdam Schiphol and Helsinki, as well as several in the US, have CT baggage scanners that generate a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated on three axes.

Earlier reports said the new system was slated to be in place by 2024 at major British airports. It seeks to cut through the cumbersome wait as passengers clumsily place their bottles and electronic devices into plastic trays for security checks.

But one rule would likely not change anytime soon: the restriction on liquids, now limited to 100ml containers.

The requirement – which has been in place since 2006 – remains in force even as some airports are already testing the new scanner system, said Britain’s Department for Transport.

The Times reported earlier on Friday that alongside the new rules about removing laptops from hand luggage, the restriction to take aboard liquids under 100ml only would also go within two years.

Britain aims to have new scanners in place by 2024, two years later than previously planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The requirement for laptops to be removed from bags allows airport security staff to check and ensure that no prohibited or dangerous items are hidden in the devices and smuggled onto the plane.

Meanwhile, the restrictions on liquids were introduced following the discovery of a plot in 2006 in which improvised explosive devices were to be carried on board several transatlantic flights and detonated during the flights.

The plot involved using hydrogen peroxide as an explosive, to be placed inside standard drinks containers, then assembled into an explosive device on board. BLOOMBERG

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