On Tuesday April 4th, London City Airport announced that it has become the first major airport in the UK to deploy next generation security scanners for all passengers, enabling travelers to pass through security without removing laptops and liquids from their hand luggage.
Passengers flying from the central London airport for the Easter getaway will be the first in London to benefit from the new guidelines. They no longer have to restrict toiletries and liquids to 100ml bottles and can leave laptops, tablets and mobile phones in their bag, as they pass through streamlined security screening. Bottles with a capacity of 2 liters are also now permitted at London City Airport.
We have always prided ourselves on embracing innovation and being early adopters of new technology.Alison FitzGerald, Chief Operating Officer
The introduction follows successful trials last year and positive feedback from passengers. London City expects travel to continue to rebound this year and is preparing to welcome close to 4 million passengers in 2023.
“The new CT scanners will take our passenger experience to another level, reducing the stress and hassle of 100mL liquids in clear, plastic bags and having to unload your hand luggage. The new process delivers a much more efficient security operation with enhanced security screening,” said Alison FitzGerald, Chief Operating Officer. “We are really confident that this investment will make the experience of traveling through London City even better for the business and leisure passengers using the airport, to quickly and easily get to our many domestic and international destinations.”
As part of the Department for Transport’s next generation security checkpoint, all UK airports must upgrade to the new system by June 2024. The CT technology is already in use in some international hub airports such as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and LaGuardia Airport in the United States.
The news comes as London City welcomed nearly 300,000 passengers during the month of March, with Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Zurich the busiest destinations from the central London hub.
The CT scanners, provided by Leidos, a FORTUNE® 500 science and technology leader, will enhance security checkpoints and provide a better travel experience for passengers. “The combination of our CT scanners and automated tray return system significantly improves the experience at security checkpoints for both passengers and security operators,” said Brad Buswell, Senior Vice President and Operations Manager at Leidos. “With London City also leveraging other technological enhancements from Leidos, the airport gains further security enhancements to their operation today, and in the future.”
This will reduce queuing times, improve the passenger experience, and detect potential threats.Aviation Minister Baroness Vere
The airport celebrated achieving the best on time performance of any London airport in 2022, with 71% of departures in 2022 leaving on time and the best Net Promoter Score of all London airports at 57. Since 2006, UK travelers had been required to restrict individual bottles to 100ml, fit all liquids into a single, clear plastic bag and remove all electronic items from their carry-on luggage.
As not all airports are introducing new security technology at the same rate, the Government advises passengers to check security requirements with their airline or airport before traveling, as 100mL liquid containers and 1 liter transparent bags may still be required.
Computer Tomography (CT) technology allows for a more accurate detection of dangerous items, like weapons and explosives. Called ConneCT, the scanner was created by Analogic, a company specializing in imaging technology for medical, as well as security purposes.
The CT technology allows the new scanners to create very detailed 3D scans of a bag’s contents and officers can then view and rotate the image to be able to analyze the contents very carefully. Furthermore, the machines also use complex algorithms to detect weapons, explosives and other prohibited items. Due to the high accuracy of the apparatus, they can even detect explosives in liquids, which is why travelers could soon be allowed to leave them in their bags when going through security.
Shannon Airport, in Ireland, has already installed the $2.7 million dollar system, while other airports in Europe and the USA are planning on installing the equipment this year. Heathrow Airport has been testing the machines since 2019 and is planning on full implementation by 1 December. In the United States, the TSA has invested $781.2 million in 1,000 scanners, to start being used across the country this summer.