Heathrow security changes mean passengers will be able to keep liquids in hand luggage

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye (right) shows the new scanners to Aviation Minister Baroness Vere (centre) Credit: Heathrow/PA

Passengers at Britain's busiest airport could soon be able to keep liquids and laptops in their hand luggage as they pass through security, once a full roll-out of new technology is complete in three years time.

New technology means travellers at Heathrow Airport will be able to skip the dreaded unpacking of bags at the checkpoint, with security officers able to see inside bags using CT scanners.

The technology, which is widely used in Britain's hospitals, provides a clear 3D image inside baggage.

Prince Charles was shown earlier this year the process used by Heathrow security. Credit: PA

The airport is spending a total of £50 million on the improvements, which it hopes will help cut traveller stress and delays passing through security.

The airport’s chief operations officer, Chris Garton, said: "Heathrow has a proud history of investing in making every journey better and that’s why we’re delighted to be rolling out our new CT equipment.

"This cutting-edge kit will not only keep the airport safe with the latest technology, but will mean that our future passengers can keep their focus on getting on with their journeys and less time preparing for security screening."

The airport has been working with the Department of Transport on the improvements, which will initially be isolated to the west London hub but could be rolled out to the wider UK at an as yet undefined date.

Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said: “This innovative new equipment will ensure Heathrow continues to provide a safe and smooth travel experience for passengers, as we look to roll out this new screening technology at airports across the country.”