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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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Two U.K. Airports Begin Major Security Projects Ahead of 2024 Standards

The U.K. government requires all airports to be compliant with new security standards by June 1, 2024. These standards include screening all passengers with security scanners rather than walk-through metal detectors and x-rays. In addition, baggage and belongings must be screened using computed tomography or “C3” type equipment producing 3D images. Due to the change in standards, passengers will not need to take out liquids and electricals for separate security screening.

Work is under way on Birmingham Airport’s new security screening area. The project has a total investment of more than £20 million and is scheduled to be complete ahead of the new standards deadline. The airport says the new facility, being built within the existing terminal building, will result in a faster and simpler pre-flight security screening process for customers. 

“We are seizing this as an opportunity to improve our operation and, crucially, the customer experience we offer,” said Al Titterington, terminal operations director for Birmingham Airport.  

“Installing our Next-Generation Security system will deliver a speedier and simpler pre-flight screening process capable of serving significantly more passengers per hour at peak times.” 

In its Master Plan published in 2018, Birmingham Airport outlined its aspiration to grow customer volumes from 12 million a year (pre-pandemic) to 18 million a year by 2033. The new and improved security screening area supports growth up to 18 million passengers a year and beyond. 

The airport’s contractors, Tilbury Douglas, began work on October 25. Initial steps include setting up site compounds before moving ahead with the project itself. In recent weeks, two landside restaurants have closed to accommodate the new screening area. 

Meanwhile, Newcastle International Airport has started work on a major redevelopment of its security area. The redevelopment will increase the capacity of the area and see new equipment and technology installed to ensure that passengers can continue to pass through the area without delays.

During 2022, 98% of Newcastle International’s passengers passed through security in less than 6 minutes. The project is intended to help ensure the airport can maintain these queue times into the future as passenger numbers increase. There will be two phases to the project with total completion expected by April 2024.

“The project will see a transformational change to the area and enable the team to operate with the latest equipment,” said the airport’s CEO, Nick Jones.  “Although a complex project, I am confident that whilst the works are ongoing passengers will still be able to travel swiftly through security and onto their flight.”

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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