UK airports are being told by government to introduce new 3D cabin baggage screening equipment.

This may enable passengers in future to keep liquids and electrical equipment, like laptops, in their cabin baggage while it is screened.

Once in place, the 100ml liquid limit may no longer apply and passengers could take liquids, like a bottle of water, through airport security.

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However, passengers will still be required to remove their laptops and liquids from cabin bags for security screening, until this equipment is introduced at airports.

It will be introduced over the next few years, with the Department for Transport requiring all major UK airports to have the technology by December 1, 2022.

The new 3D technology, using the most advanced imaging systems available, will keep people even safer by providing security personnel with better images of cabin baggage.

Heathrow is trialling the 3D equipment which will be gradually introduced at other UK airports.

The equipment may have the potential to reduce the amount of time required for security screening and could significantly decrease the amount of plastic used at major UK airports, with passengers no longer required to put their liquids in plastic bags before being screened.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “We are home to the largest aviation network in Europe, with millions of people passing through our airports every year for work, holidays and family visits.

“We’re set to streamline those trips with the rollout of this ground-breaking technology – cutting down hassle for travellers and improving security measures.

“By making journeys through UK airports easier than ever, this new equipment will help boost the vital role our airports play in securing the UK’s position as a global hub for trade, tourism and investment.

New transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “The new screening equipment will improve security and make the experience smoother and less stressful for passengers. It could also mean an end to passengers having to use plastic bags or rationing what they take away with them.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality and chair of the Tourism Alliance said: “The new technology being rolled out should make for a smoother, more enjoyable passenger experience and will bolster the UK’s international reputation as traveller-friendly.

“Having passed through security more quickly, and with less hassle, passengers will be able to relax and begin to enjoy their holiday sooner.”

Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye added: “We’re proud to be at the forefront of this new generation security equipment. This technology will transform the passenger experience, making air travel simple, streamlined and more secure through the UK’s only hub airport.”

MoreHeathrow aims to cut queues with 3D scanners