Airport Security Upgrade: UK on Track to Remove Carry-on Liquid Limits

New scanners will eliminate the need for the 100mL rule

Young woman opening her suitcase at the airport security check, while security staff holding in hands cosmetics permitted in a hand luggage.

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The U.K. is gearing up to make travel easier by eliminating one of most travelers' least-favorite restrictions. The Times recently reported that airports in the U.K. are considering eliminating the size limitation on liquids in carry-on bags by 2024. 

Currently, similarly to the U.S., the U.K. allows liquids that are 100 milliliters (just under 3.4 ounces) or less, which must be removed when going through security, a restriction that came about in 2006 after a foiled terrorist plot in which the attackers tried to sneak liquid explosives on a plane.

However, this recent change would not make flying any more dangerous thanks to new technology, and the hope is that loosening the restriction would cut down security wait times and increase screening efficiency. The Times reports that security officers will utilize high-tech equipment similar to a 3D CT scanner used in hospitals, giving a cleaner visual of everything that passes through it. 

The U.K. isn't the only country focused on making traveling easier. The U.S. has tested similar scanners since 2018 at several airports, including John F. Kennedy Airport in New York and Chicago O'Hare International. The country spent more than $781 million on these scanners in March. Some U.S. airports are also reviving pre-9/11 travel policies—Ontario International Airport launched a visitor pass program in early November that will allow non-ticketed guests to make their way through security and to the gates.

After a disastrous summer of checked luggage going missing, more and more people have opted to go the carry-on-only route, making efficient security lines much more critical. The Times reported that the Shannon airport in Ireland, which rolled out the same scanners earlier this year, has "halved the time" passengers spent in security.

An official announcement about the rule is expected to be made before Christmas.

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  1. The Times. "Airport Scanners to End 100ml Limit on Liquids in Hand Luggage." November 23, 2022.