Lonely Planet Writer

Amsterdam’s airport is testing security tech that will let you leave liquids and laptops in your bag

The way of the future may start to resemble the past as new machines in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport allow passengers to leave liquids and electronics in their bags.

A test of the 3D scan in Amsterdam.
A test of the 3 D scan in Amsterdam. Image by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Working with the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism and national carrier KLM, Schiphol airport is running the tests to de-stress the security stretch for those travelling by air. The Schiphol Group reports that two new hand baggage-scanning devices have been set up in the airport. They contain state-of-the-art software which makes it possible for security personnel to see all the contents of a passenger’s hand baggage on screen. It even has the facility to manipulate what object it is examining by 360 degrees on all axes to probe its contents.

This allows the staff to view everything within the bag from all angles, so they can examine the luggage closely for any items that might be prohibited from air transport. Currently at the pilot project stage, the new scans will be tested in two security lanes, and the passengers taking part in this trial will be given an explanation and instructions on the testing procedure. Travellers elsewhere in the airport will continue to place their gels and liquids, etc. in a plastic re-sealable bag with the limited volume of one litre, and the limit of 100 ml for individual containers. However, those in the lanes where the project is taking place will be given separate instructions: their liquids will not have to be removed from their luggage.

The aim of the pilot is to ascertain whether security can be made a more comfortable, pleasant, simpler and faster process. Provided everything runs smoothly, Schiphol hope to roll out the new scanning devices to their remaining 67 security lanes by late 2017. Should it prove successful, it is very likely that other airports will follow suit if they believe that security is not compromised, this would mean that passengers could get through security queues quicker.