In 2019 Heathrow Airport announced plans to introduce next-generation CT security equipment which will see the end of passengers having to remove liquids and laptops from their hand luggage. Timelines for the instalment have been delayed amid the ongoing Covid restrictions.
The first lanes are now anticipated to be installed in time for an increase in passenger figures later in the year.
Though the exact date Britons will be allowed to jet off on holiday has not yet been confirmed, the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce is due to resume in April to discuss the potential for travel to resume.
Heathrow signed a £50 million deal two years ago with FTSE100 engineering firm Smiths Group.
Using 3D images and advance explosive detection, the equipment is able to scan hand luggage items without passengers having to remove certain personal belongings.
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Upon signing the deal in 2019, Heathrow outlined plans to have the new security systems in place across its terminals by 2022.
Heathrow explained that once the rollout is complete, it should “transform” the passenger journey through the airport.
The London flight hub is the first UK airport to trial the technology and is working in partnership with the Department for Transport.
Should it prove a success, more airports across the nation could soon implement a similar strategy.
After signing the deal in 2019, Heathrow Airport 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 added: “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.”
According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, holidays could resume as soon as May 17.
However, as the third wave of Covid begins to spread across parts of Europe, the PM admitted it is a case of “wait and see”.
Britons should know more about the plans for international travel on April 5.
“We’ve heard already that there are other European countries where the disease is now rising so things certainly look difficult for the time being but we will be able to say more we hope in a few days’ time, I certainly hope to say more by April 5,” said Mr Johnson.
“All I can say is it’s just too early to say and my advice is to everybody to wait for the global travel task force to report.”