June 17, 2024

Delays with the rollout of new advanced scanning equipment will mean continued restrictions on the maximum volume of liquids allowed to be carried onboard by airport passengers and staff in the United Kingdom.

A longstanding 100ml liquid restriction – essentially similar to the 3-ounce maximum for commercial airline passengers in the U.S., with all carry-on liquids limited to those fitting inside a one-liter clear plastic bag – was due to expire earlier this month.

However, many of the country’s airports still lack the next generation C3 scanning equipment capable of detecting liquid explosives in passenger luggage, noted Lindsey Oliver, managing director for the British Business and General Aviation Association.

“It is my understanding that rollout of the new machines has been slower than expected,” she said. “Some airports and FBOs have also required structural changes to accommodate the new equipment, further delaying implementation. It’s kind of a perfect storm.”

Unlike in the U.S., security checkpoints are in place at most airports and FBOs used by business aircraft operators in the U.K.

The UK Department for Transport emphasized the limit applies to all airports, even those with C3 equipment already in operation. Facilities with the new scanners may allow mouthwash, shampoo and other liquids to be kept in luggage, but all passengers should have those items ready to be scanned separately if necessary.

Doug Carr, NBAA senior vice president of safety, security, sustainability and international operations, emphasized the need for U.S. operators to be prepared. “This will certainly affect business aviation,” he said. “You will be screened regardless of what kind of flight you’re conducting. It’s simply an operational reality.”

The limit is expected to be temporary, Oliver added. She hopes the new machines will be in place across the UK by the end of the year based on conversations with C3 scanner manufacturers.