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UK Airport security update

Airport security in the UK is to be tightened following the government's security review but there are concerns this could lead to more airport delays.

Full details of the new security measures are still to be revealed, but they will include concrete barriers at airport terminals to deter bomb attacks like the one at Glasgow airport in the summer, as well as vehicle exclusion zones near terminal buildings.

The government has also introduced "a new approach to hand baggage security". But the one-bag rule will remain until at least 7 January 2008 as airports need to prove they can handle extra capacity.

"We are inviting each airport to submit plans to take advantage of new technology, operational innovations, and unexploited capacity in the system to make a real difference to passengers as soon as possible," says secretary of state for transport, Ruth Kelly.

As the onus will be on airports to prove they can handle more hand luggage it may be several months before it will be possible to take more than one item of hand luggage onto planes at some airports.

"This is not about relaxing security. It's about allowing airports to take advantage of smarter technologies and improved processes to deliver a better service to the passenger," insists Ruth Kelly.

But the introduction of new security systems at UK airports could lead to airport delays due to teething problems and more thorough searches. Different rules at airports could also cause confusion among passengers and may even lead to increased congestion at airports that are able to handle more than one item of hand luggage.

The rules about hand luggage size and taking liquids in hand luggage remain the same. The maximum dimension for hand luggage is 56 x 45 x 25cm. All liquids must be placed in individual containers no larger than 100ml and carried in a clear plastic bag measuring no more than 20x20cm.

Written by: Nick Purdom