Amsterdam’s Schiphol becomes first major European airport to switch to CT security scanners

May 11, 2021

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Travellers passing through security at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam no longer have to remove electronics and liquids from their bags thanks to state-of-the-art CT scanning machines.

Schiphol officials say the Netherlands’ primary aviation hub is now the first major European airport to offer this new technology at security checkpoints.

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The airport’s new security corridor on the mezzanine floor of Departures 1 now has 21 lanes outfitted with CT scans, which replaced the old X-ray machines. The CT machines provide improved detection screening by creating 3D images that can be viewed and rotated on three axes for thorough visual image analysis.

“This is a world-first,” said Hedzer Komduur, deputy director of safety, security and environment at Royal Schiphol Group. “Good news for passengers because they are no longer required to take their liquids and electronics out of their bags when going through security. It’s also good for security staff. The CT scan allows them to check baggage on their screen in 3D and even rotate it 360 degrees.”

The 21 security lanes at Departures 1 can now easily be linked up with the 14 lanes at Departures 2. The 35 security lanes form one of the world’s largest security filters, equipped with the CT technology designed to make the process more efficient. If it becomes crowded in Departures 1, travellers can go through Departures 2 and thereby reduce airport congestion.

In theory, the new CT scanning machines could mean passengers could carry on liquids in bottles or containers larger than 100 ml, but airport officials don’t recommend chancing it.

Bottles and containers that exceed 100 ml are only allowed if approved by the CT scan and security staff. And since restrictions on liquids in carry-on bags still applies at nearly every other airport, it could cause travellers problems on a connecting or return flight.

CT scanning is expected to become a much bigger part of airport security in the next few years. It’s already being used at some U.S. airports — Miami International Airport has CT scanners at certain checkpoints. The TSA is also testing CT scanners at Philadelphia International airport as well as in Richmond and Norfolk International Airports, both in Virginia.

Featured photo courtesy of Schiphol.

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