The UK government announced on Thursday that it will significantly relax limits on taking liquids in carry-on luggage at airports from June 2024. Currently, only containers of less than 100 ml are allowed in the aircraft cabin at international airports, provided they are placed in clear bags at security checks. Larger containers have to be checked in the hold, and electronic devices such as laptops must also be removed from bags.
But under a new bill to be presented to parliament on Thursday, limits for liquids will be raised to two litres. Electronic devices will also no longer have to be checked separately, the Department for Transport said in a statement.
New control technologies
The rules, introduced in the early 2000s to prevent the use of liquid explosives on planes, have become a bind for travellers, regularly holding up queues. The relaxation comes as a result of new technology being deployed at major airports in the UK over the next two years, the department said.
The "cutting-edge" machines will give security staff more detailed three-dimensional images of what people are carrying in their bags. Similar CT X-ray technology uses "highly advanced threat-detection algorithms" and is being rolled out at other airports around the world, said Transport Secretary Mark Harper.
"By 2024, major airports across the UK will have the latest security tech installed, reducing queueing times, improving the passenger experience, and most importantly detecting potential threats," he added.
Rules on liquids were tightened after a British man, Richard Reid, tried to blow up a transatlantic jet in December 2001 using homemade explosives hidden in his shoes. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents airlines, said it hoped the industry and passengers would be given "plenty of notice" of any changes. It also called for it to be "coordinated globally".