Latest Airport Security Upgrades: What Travelers Need to Know

With more and more 3D CT scanners being installed at airport security checkpoints, going through security is becoming a smoother experience for travelers. However, these changes can lead to confusion. For example, recently Birmingham Airport in the U.K. faced significant queues as passengers struggled to understand the liquid rules following the introduction of these scanners. To help you avoid surprises and navigate these changes smoothly, here is everything you need to know.


What has changed?

The 3D CT cabin baggage screening system was first implemented in 2019 at Jeju International Airport in South Korea. This system is often referred to as Next Generation Security Checkpoints (NGSC). Since then, this technology has been adopted by airports globally. Security officers can now inspect things from various perspectives thanks to the 3D CT scanners, which provide detailed images of the contents of carry-on luggage using three-dimensional computed tomography. As a result, travelers are no longer required to take liquids or small electronics out of their baggage.

The scanners feature automated lines, improved security and threat recognition capabilities. If a security officer wants to examine any items more thoroughly, the tray is sent to a different line for extra screening, such as chemical swabs or manual inspections, without slowing down the overall flow.

Eventually, the adoption of 3D CT scanners in all airports may render the liquid rule (the so-called 3-1-1 rule) obsolete, and some airports are already relaxing these restrictions. Like the above mentioned Birmingham airport did: they scrapped restrictions on liquids in hand luggage. However, since then, they had to re-introduce the restrictions which consequently caused the chaos. 

As many airports adhere to the old regulations, any discrepancy in the rules will lead to confusion; for instance, you might pass through security seamlessly on your outbound flight but face delays on your return if the airport lacks 3D CT scanners. To ensure a smooth experience with security screening at any airport, no matter of their equipment, follow the steps below.

Airport security Tips

  • Liquids (the 3-1-1 rule): pack all liquids in 100 ml/3.4 oz containers, place them into a single clear plastic zip top bag of 1 liter/1 quart size. Only one such bag is allowed per passenger.
  • Medication and medical devices: pack all your prescription medication or medical devices in a separate clear bag and inform security officers about it.
  • Electronics: keep all large electronics (laptops, tablets, e-readers, power banks, etc.) easily accessible.
  • Be prepared to produce any of the mentioned items upon request and place into a tray; when packing, keep in mind the ease of taking them out to avoid creating additional stress for yourself and queues for others.
  • Stay informed about the latest developments and specific regulations at your departure and destination airports, as additional measures can be implemented any time. 

By following these guidelines, you can ensure a hassle-free experience at any airport. Safe travels!

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