Tallinn Airport is planning to procure new security scanning equipment that would allow passengers to leave liquids and electronic devices in their luggage when going through security.
Airports all over the world are installing a new generation of devices that resemble computer tomography scanners used by hospitals. Instead of using x-rays, these produce a 3D image for security staff to look at. This allows the operator to rotate the image and study the contents of luggage from any angle.
"Passengers have to remove all large electronic devices and liquids from their luggage when going through security at the airport today," Tarvi Pihlakas, head of security for Tallinn Airport, told ERR. The new technology makes it possible to leave these items in bags.
"The new devices are also capable of limited analysis of luggage contents," Pihlakas added.
Airports have been limiting quantities of liquids, asking passengers to put shampoos and sun tan lotion in 100 milliliter bottles. This restriction could also be lifted in the near future.
Such devices have already been installed at Helsinki Airport and several in the UK. The latter's government has ordered airports to be done with the update by 2024. Estonia aims to keep pace.
"We plan to launch the tender for these devices in the first quarter of next year," Pihlakas said, adding that the waiting time for the devices is around six months.
"Because we want to avoid replacing the equipment during peak season, we believe the first stage of the work could take place toward the end of the third quarter or early Q4 next year."
This will make life easier for passengers who can get through security using just a single tray for their things, while it will also allow airports to move people through faster.
"Our throughput could grow by as much as 30 percent as a result," Pihlakas said.
The airport representative could not say how much the update will cost. More companies are now producing such devices and prices are changing. Other components of security conveyors will also have to be replaced. "But we're talking millions," Pihlakas remarked.
Editor: Marcus Turovski