London’s Heathrow Airport has announced an investment of more than £50m ($63.5m) in new computed tomography (CT) security equipment.

The next-generation equipment will be introduced airport-wide in the next few years. It will allow passengers to keep liquids and laptops in their hand luggage when being screened at security.

The Department of Transport (DfT) is extending its support for Heathrow’s programme to install the new CT scanners at its terminals by 2022. The technology will be rolled-out gradually at all terminals and security lanes of the airport.

When fully deployed, the new equipment will reduce security screening time and the use of plastic at the airport.

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The technology is the newest version of security equipment that provides clearer images of contents in the cabin baggage.

Heathrow 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.”

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In the UK, Heathrow is the first airport to test new CT technology. Heathrow will work alongside DfT to support other airports within the country in deploying the scanners.

The London airport in partnership with DfT has been testing the technology since 2017.

UK Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said: “Passenger safety remains our top priority and this programme clearly shows the huge importance we place on security.

“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.”