Passengers at Heathrow could keep liquids and laptops inside their hand luggage when passing through security once new scanners have been installed.
The west London airport announced that it is investing £50 million to roll out computer tomography (CT) equipment over the next three years.
The technology, already used in hospitals for CT scans, can provide clear, 3D images of cabin baggage.
It is hoped this will cut security queues, as well as remove the need for passengers to take laptops out of bags and use a separate transparent bag to carry liquids and gels.
Heathrow has been working with the Department for Transport to become the first UK airport to trial the scanners.
The airport’s chief operations officer, Chris Garton, said: “Heathrow has a proud history of investing in making every journey better and that’s why we’re delighted to be rolling out our new CT equipment.
“This cutting-edge kit will not only keep the airport safe with the latest technology, but will mean that our future passengers can keep their focus on getting on with their journeys and less time preparing for security screening.”
Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said: “Passenger safety remains our top priority and this programme clearly shows the huge importance we place on security.
“This innovative new equipment will ensure Heathrow continues to provide a safe and smooth travel experience for passengers, as we look to roll out this new screening technology at airports across the country.”
For passengers, the possibility of not having to remove laptops and liquids at Heathrow is a very positive move, as the whole process of getting through security is made more difficult and time consuming.
The technology is already being used in the US, including Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport and Chicago’s O’Hare.
The US Transportation Security Administration hopes to deploy 300 of the scanners by 2020.
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