Huge Birmingham Airport security change - but next step 'needs final approval'

-Credit: (Image: Birmingham Mail/Darren Quinton)
-Credit: (Image: Birmingham Mail/Darren Quinton)


Birmingham Airport's "state-of-the-art" security hall upgrade is now complete, with a brand new security check point area now open to travellers. The upgrade will bring in key changes to how passengers queue, transit to airside and carry liquids, but there is one key aspect that needs a "final seal of approval", the airport said.

With more than 200,000 customers flying out through BHX this half-term, the change will have a significant impact on how customers transit through to airside, and a reduction in 'carnage' queues, the airport hopes. If you are travelling through BHX from today, May 25, BHX says you will experience a "simpler and streamlined experience" in its new security checkpoints.

As we reported yesterday, they key change is that customers no longer need to remove their liquids from out of their hand luggage. In fact, liquids can remain in hand luggage loose. However, the airport is waiting on "final approval" to scrap its 100ml rule, which means you must adhere to bringing liquids in under 100ml.

READ MORE: Birmingham Airport queue 'carnage' statement as race on to finish new security hall

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How will new security check points work?

However once approved, passengers will be able to transit through security with up to 2 litres of liquids in their hand luggage - a major change. We have asked Birmingham Airport when we can expect the 100ml liquid rule to be scrapped.

The new security checkpoints feature a specific type of x-ray scanner, which allows passengers to leave their liquids and electronics in their hand luggage. It is a major change for travellers, who up until now, had to remove all liquids and electrics from their bags and place them in clear plastic bags on separate trays.

Polished CGIs of Birmingham Airport's new security hall have been released ahead of the travel hub's major rebuild. -Credit:BHX
Polished CGIs of Birmingham Airport's new security hall have been released ahead of the travel hub's major rebuild. -Credit:BHX

Once the new security hall is operating fully by June, the 100ml liquid rule will also be scrapped. The rules requiring liquids to be taken through security in 100ml or under and in a clear plastic bag were introduced in 2006 after a plot to bomb a transatlantic flight was scuppered.

However the airport's new CT X-ray technology will provide 3D images so items can be left inside bags and liquids up to two litres will be allowed through, once final approval is given.

'We expect customers to be able to carry 2 litres of liquids in their hand luggage'

Providing an update on Saturday May 25, a Birmingham Airport spokesperson said: "In May the transition of security officers to the new security search area was complete.

"The new area boasts a simpler and streamlined experience for our customers and is largely fully functional. Using these new screening machines, customers no longer need to remove liquids that are up to 100ml in size from their hand luggage or have them in separate liquid bags. Electrical items can now also stay in a customer’s hand luggage, meaning an easier journey through security.

Passengers in a slow moving queue at Birmingham Airport on Friday, May 17, 2024
It is hoped the new security hall will prevent scenes like this, as things return back to normal. Pictured: Passengers in a slow moving queue at Birmingham Airport on Friday, May 17, 2024 -Credit:Charlotte Deakin

"Whilst we expect that passengers will be able to carry up to 2 litres of liquids in their hand luggage; due to an outstanding regulatory approval, which is out of the control of Birmingham Airport, only liquids up to 100ml can currently be carried."

Al Titterington, terminal operations director of Birmingham Airport said: “We have invested £60m in our new security search area to ensure readiness for the 1st June 2024. Whilst the airport is ready with its new security technology, we are awaiting the final approval of the 2L liquid allowance.

“In the meantime any customers travelling through the airport can take liquids, pastes and gels up to 100ml loose, and no longer in plastic bags, in their hand luggage. Additionally, electricals can stay in their bags and do not need to be removed at the security search area.”

The security hall upgrade initially had a budget of £40 million, but 'inflationary costs' pushed the privately financed scheme up to £60 million, with bosses steaming ahead to get it completed on time for the June 1 deadline.