Mounting concerns over potential terrorism have forced airports in many countries to implement stringent security measures, such as having to store liquids in clear plastic bags and taking out laptops at security checkpoints. 3D baggage scanning is being looked at as a potential solution, and the United Kingdom has taken the lead in requiring all airports to have such equipment in place before the end of 2022, according to a BBC report.
The report says 3D baggage scanners are already being installed at London’s Heathrow Airport. The scanners have been used there on a trial basis for several years. These scanners will spread to other UK airports in the next few years, according to the BBC.
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was quoted as saying, “The new equipment means no more pulling out your socks and your underwear, and having to separate your liquids and and take your laptops out.” Presently, liquids are restricted to a capacity of less than 100 ml, and must be stored in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag measuring 20 x 20 cm.
According to Shapps, aviation companies would bear the costs of implementing the 3D scanners.
The UK is not the only country investing in 3D scanners.
In the U.S., the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) started deploying 300 3D scanners at airports throughout the country this past Spring to improve security. Deployment is expected to be completed by 2020. So far, there has been no government mandate in the U.S. to require 3D scanners at all airports.