In 2018 all UK airports were advised of new Government legislation for the introduction of new security screening technology.

This would allow a change to the rule on electrical items and liquids in hand luggage. This legislation was amended to take into account the delay that Covid brought to the aviation industry and a revised deadline of 1st June 2024 was set as the completion date for the new technology being installed, commissioned and to be used.

Instead of just replacing the technology Birmingham Airport took the decision to future proof, by building a larger security area, to ensure it would accommodate the projected 18m passengers by 2033. In January 2022 a period of planning, procurement and construction, at a privately financed cost of £60m, to build a new security screening hall began.

Birmingham Airport has worked tirelessly over the last 18 months and has successfully hit the 1st of June 2024 deadline, one of the few UK airports, and has been using its new security screening area since mid-March. The transition and training of colleagues to the new security area, new equipment and the terminal construction works have not been without their challenges and there have been some occasions when customer service has fallen below what the airport aims to deliver.

In May the transition of security officers to the new security search area was complete. The new area boasts a simpler and streamlined experience for our customers and is largely fully functional. Using these new screening machines, customers no longer need to remove liquids that are up to 100ml in size from their hand luggage or have them in separate liquid bags. 

Electrical items can now also stay in a customer’s hand luggage, meaning an easier journey through security. Whilst we expect that passengers will be able to carry up to 2 litres of liquids in their hand luggage; due to an outstanding regulatory approval, which is out of the control of Birmingham Airport, only liquids up to 100ml can currently be carried. 

Al Titterington, Terminal Operations Director of Birmingham Airport said: “We have invested £60m in our new security search area to ensure readiness for the 1st June 2024. 

“Whilst the airport is ready with its new security technology, we are awaiting the final approval of the 2L liquid allowance. In the meantime any customers travelling through the airport can take liquids, pastes and gels up to 100ml loose, and no longer in plastic bags, in their hand luggage. 

“Additionally, electricals can stay in their bags and do not need to be removed at the security search area.” Once the regulatory approval of the 2L allowance has been granted, we will update our customers.