HomeGeneral TravelUK now won't lift airport liquids restrictions until 2025

UK now won’t lift airport liquids restrictions until 2025

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By June of this this year, all the UK’s major airports were meant to have new scanners which would have meant the end on the liquid restrictions that have been in place since 2006 (yes, we’ve been putting up with this nonsense for nearly 2 decades). That deadline is now in tatters.

It has been obvious to all but the most blinkered of onlookers that the government-imposed deadline was never going to be met (the fact that it’s taking Heathrow 3-4 months to replace just 2 scanners shows how colossally incapable the nation can be when it comes to dealing with infrastructure projects), and now the penny appears to have dropped at ministerial level.

The Times has reported that lawmakers are about to give Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, and Stansted airports an extension to the June deadline and while, officially, they will have to apply to get an extension, that will just be another ridiculous bit of theatre that means very little.

The extensions will be handed out and will give the major airports until next year to get their collective act together.

There’s every chance that a reasonable number of new scanners will be installed at the four airports in question by the June deadline*, but because not every security lane will have them, the limits to the volume of liquid that can be brought through security will remain in place to prevent passenger confusion (you can’t have a situation where the volume of liquid that you can bring through security is based on which security line you find yourself in. That would be a recipe for mayhem).

Far too many passengers seem to lack the intelligence to deal with the already simple rules that have been in place for 17+ years, so can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if we suddenly had different rules for different security lines?

I’d pay to watch that, but I wouldn’t want to be in any of those lines 🙂

*It’s worth remembering that the original deadline was in 2022 so this isn’t a praiseworthy feat.

Bottom line

In the next few days, the British government is expected to announce that the major UK airports will be given extensions to the deadline to install the latest generation of CT scanners in their security lanes.

What this means is that it’s now highly unlikely that we’ll see the UK lift the airport liquid limits before next year, and while most observers knew this was coming, it’s still hard not to feel disappointed.

P.S. Well done to Birmingham and London City Airports which appear to be the only UK international airports of any stature that can meet a deadline.

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