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Summer travel chaos expected as airports struggle to update security | Travel News | Travel

Fears for a summer of travel chaos are growing as airports struggle to update security scanners ahead of an end to the hand baggage liquid ban.

Passengers face confusion over whether they can carry fluids in their luggage as the UK’s biggest airports look set to miss a crucial deadline for installing new technology ahead of restrictions being lifted.

Airports have been told by ministers to install advanced CT scanners by June, so the 100ml liquid rule can be scrapped, with passengers then allowed to pass through security with up to two litres.

However, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester are behind schedule, with many installation projects expected to continue into 2025, the Times reports.

A delay to the rollout of the new measures is “almost inevitable” to avoid the chaos of conflicting rules across different airports this summer, according to sources.

“It’s going to be a struggle for the big airports,” a source told the Times. “One of the biggest issues they face is fitting the new scanners and retraining staff without impacting the flow of passengers.”

Airport bosses are said to be particularly concerned about creating passenger confusion if some security lanes are fitted with new CT scanners and others traditional X-ray machines.

Government plans to lift the ban on liquids will be the biggest change in aviation security in almost two decades.

Mark Harper, the transport secretary, has hailed the move as “ushering in a new era of improved security and passenger experience”.

He said: “Airports now have until June 2024 to upgrade their screening equipment and processes.”

Once implemented, passengers will no longer need to remove laptops and tablets from their cabin bags. All “major” airports are required to meet the deadline.

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