Heathrow ‘delays plans’ to speed up security checks

Heathrow has reportedly delayed the introduction of new scanners that allow passengers to leave laptops and toiletries in hand luggage because of a dispute with the Civil Aviation Authority.

The Telegraph reported that the airport cannot afford to install the planned hi-tech scanners after suffering billions of pounds of losses during the pandemic.

Heathrow’s finance chief financial officer Javier Echave said the CAA was refusing a request for the airport to increase charges on airlines, forcing the airport to cut investment.

He told the newspaper: “One of our most popular upgrades is the rollout of enhanced security equipment.

“This technology has the potential to make passenger journeys through security much more convenient by allowing passengers to keep their liquids and laptops in their hand luggage.”

Paul Smith, CAA director, told the Telegraph: “Heathrow has assured us it can fulfil its responsibility to ensure the highest standards of safety and security, as we and its passengers would expect.

“The investments it makes to achieve this are ultimately a matter for the airport’s operator and its shareholders.”

Elsewhere, home secretary Priti Patel has told the BBC that a new border scheme requiring visitors to apply for an electronic permit will make the UK safer.

She also said it will make it easier to count those coming to the UK.

Under the plan, all visitors without a visa or immigration status will have to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) before coming to the UK.

The BBC said the new scheme is modelled on the US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation which has been in place since 2009, and the EU is planning to introduce its own version – European Travel Information and Authorisation System – next year.

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