Heathrow Airport is introducing new scanners that could end the need to remove liquids from hand luggage, spelling the death of the frantic scramble with clear plastic bags in the security queue.
The new X-ray machines mean that staff are able to see items inside bags from all angles.
The technology produces a 3D image of the contents of each passenger’s luggage, and detects any explosives.
Similar machines have been tested at New York’s JFK airport and Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.
The UK tests will take place an an unspecified terminal at Heathrow within the next six to 12 months.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: ‘If successful, this could lead in future to passengers no longer needing to remove items from hand luggage for screening.’
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The ban on travelling with liquids over 100ml was introduced in 2006 following a foiled terror plot involving smuggling explosives in liquid form.
Three men were jailed for life for planning to blow up a transatlantic flight on a scale similar to the 9/11 terror atrocity.
Al-Qaida terrorists Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain planned to detonate liquid bombs on two flights to North America.
Initially travellers were banned from bringing any liquids through the airport.
Currently people are permitted to bring liquids in small containers contained within a clear plastic bag. These must be removed from luggage at security and scanned separately.