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Paris Orly airport trials scanners that remove need for liquids bag

The scanners are similar to those used in hospitals and aim to improve safety and cut down waiting times at security

The new scanners being tested mean that passengers no longer need to place their liquids into a separate plastic bag or get it out at security Pic: Jaromir Chalabala / Shutterstock

Paris Orly airport is trialling new scanners for carry-on bags that do not require passengers to put liquids in a separate plastic bag or take out electronics such as laptops when passing through security.

The 3D scanners enable staff to see the contents of bags more easily, which removes the need for travellers to put any liquids or gels – with a maximum of 100ml for each container – into a clear resealable plastic bag.

These bags measure around 20cm by 20cm, and are intended to offer a one litre capacity in total. Most airports, especially those in France and the UK, currently require this rule for travellers with hand luggage. Passengers are also often required to remove electronics and shoes.

The new scanners also mean that passengers will no longer need to remove electronic equipment. Similar to the CT scanners used in hospitals, the machines take 3D images of the object being scanned.

Bags are observed from various angles so staff can get a clear picture of the contents. 

The ADP group, whose airports include Paris Orly, told Le Figaro in a statement: “We are currently testing new explosive detection equipment for cabin luggage that will allow passengers to no longer need to take our electronic items, nor liquids, which will make it easier for passengers when passing through security.”

The main advantages are that the scans are more effective, leading to higher safety levels but because people no longer need to spend so much time taking clear plastic bags or electronics out of their luggage, the system is also expected to cut down queue and waiting times.

UK announces successful trials and new rules for 2024

The rule on liquids came into force across much of Europe in November 2006, after British authorities discovered a criminal plot to explode planes with explosives hidden in drinks bottles.

Orly is not alone in its trials; London airports Gatwick and Heathrow have also been testing these 3D scanners for several months. 

After successful trials, the UK has announced that from 2024, passengers will be able to take two litres of liquids (double the current allowance) in their hand luggage, and will not need to take out their liquids in a plastic bag when passing through security.

One year trial

At Orly 3, the technology is still at the testing stage. ADP said: “[This experiment] is being done with close cooperation from state services [and] the training of security operators on the new image checking protocols.”

The trial is set to last for a year “in real situations”, said ADP.

It is being carried out alongside the testing of a new ‘shoe scan’ system, which aims to avoid passengers from having to remove their shoes when passing through security.

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