The Future of Airport Security: CT Scanners Set to Simplify Travel

Saturday, August 5th, 2023

Currently, most airports have strict and complicated rules pertaining to items allowed in passengers’ hand luggage for air travel. With the arrival of new CT scanners, this may soon be a thing of the past.

When will the new technology be in place?

The roll-out of the new devices is relatively slow, so that many travellers will still have to wait some time before they can take advantage of the new rules. While several airports in Europe and the US have already introduced the new scanning equipment, many others are not yet ready.

Advantages of the new technology

With the introduction of the new scanners, passengers will need to remove fewer items from their hand luggage when passing through security. This will enhance the efficiency of airport security screening procedures, save time and provide an improved passenger experience.

How do the CT scanners work?

The new scanners create three-dimensional, rotatable images of the luggage and its contents. This means that liquids and electrical items can be analysed without being removed from the bag or suitcase. The devices work with computerised tomography (CT), similar to technology used in hospitals. They produce images that are far more detailed than those obtained from traditional airport X-ray machines.

Current rules at airports without CT scanners

Where the old technology is still in place, liquids must be carried in containers with a maximum capacity of 100ml. These containers must be stored in a transparent plastic bag with a maximum capacity of one litre. Only one transparent bag per passenger is allowed and this must be removed from the hand luggage for security screening. Larger electronic devices, e.g. laptops, must also be taken out of the bag and its protective sleeve to be placed on a tray for scanning.

New security procedures at airports with CT scanners

At European airports where the new technology has been implemented, passengers can carry up to 2 litres of liquids. There is no longer a need to remove liquids or electronic devices from the hand luggage for screening. In the US, the amount of liquids that can be taken through airport security will remain restricted to 100ml / 3.4 ounces for the foreseeable future, even with the new technology in place.

Where are the CT scanners available at the moment?

The new scanners are already in place at major airports in the UK, such as London City and Teesside. In Germany, the roll-out has begun in Frankfurt and Munich. The US, with its larger airports already equipped with the technology, is now expanding it to smaller airports across the country. Installation of the new equipment is underway in many airports, so you may want to check for the latest updates regarding your local airport before you travel.

When will CT scanners be introduced at Palma Airport?

Mallorca travellers will have to wait a little longer for the arrival of the new technology. Airport operator AENA is currently planning to install the new devices at Palma de Mallorca Airport by the end of 2024.


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