ANOTHER UK airport has scrapped the restrictions on passengers carrying liquids in their hand luggage, while work is continuing at Jersey Airport to install new screening equipment that will mean the end of the 100ml rule in place since 2006.
London City Airport has joined Teesside in unveiling new technology used as passengers pass through security, with the UK government having committed to having the scanning equipment at all major airports by June 2024.
Jersey Airport has pledged to match the UK deadline, and work began in early March to enhance the departures area.
Passenger services manager Maria Le Tiec said that new equipment would be part of the refurbishment, with staff being trained so that liquids and laptops would no longer have to be removed from hand luggage.
She said: ‘We are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to improve the passenger experience, hence our significant investment in these improvements – this work will ultimately improve passengers’ experience and facilitate work on the new security equipment.’
London City Airport chief operating officer Alison FitzGerald said the new machinery had the ability to differentiate to between non-dangerous and dangerous liquids, with the potential for a 30% improvement in the time that it took passengers to pass through security.
Both UK airports with the new equipment will have direct services to Jersey this summer: British Airways will fly to London City twice weekly between June and September, while Eastern Airways will fly to Teesside every Saturday until September.
The restrictions on carrying liquids were introduced in 2006 – described as a temporary measure at the time to protect against explosives, they remain in place in spite of repeated promises by the UK government and senior aviation executives.
In 2019, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed the rules would be eased at major UK airports by 1 December 2022, allowing larger quantities and eliminating the need to have liquids separately scanned. The deadline was then moved to June 2024 by the current government, led by PM Rishi Sunak.
Writing in the Independent, travel expert Simon Calder said he considered it ‘very likely’ that the new equipment would be installed at all of the top ten UK airports measured by passenger numbers: Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Luton, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow, Bristol and Belfast International.
Mr Calder also said it was likely that ten other airports which handled more than one million passengers in 2019 would follow suit: Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds Bradford, East Midlands, Aberdeen, Belfast City, Southampton, Cardiff, Southend and Jersey.
Shannon Airport in Ireland became the first European Airport to install the new equipment in summer of last year.