Body scanners are to be introduced at Heathrow airport within weeks, home secretary Alan Johnson told the House of Commons this afternoon.
The airport is likely to have the scanners in about three weeks and they will gradually be rolled out to other UK airports.
He also revealed the government will direct all airports to increase the proportion of passengers it searches by hand as well as increase the amount of baggage it tests for traces of explosives.
All airports will also be required to introduce explosive trace detection equipment by the end of the year.
The move follows the attempted terrorist attack on a Delta Air Lines flight into Detroit on Christmas day.