Passengers at the Hong Kong International Airport will no longer have to remove laptops and liquids from their carry-on bags when they pass through security, starting July 2. Over the next two years, the airport will install 50 security channels, which will allow travellers to place their bags for security checks without removing electronics, liquids, gels, and aerosols from their carry-on bags. These systems, along with the 32 full-body scanners that will be set up in the immigration halls, will give Hong Kong’s airport the distinction of being the world’s first to run smart security screening channels in the entire airport.

hong kong international airport bag-screening system and metal detector

The bag-screening channel has an automatic recirculation system for trays, and is next to archway metal detectors.

Last year, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee revealed that the airport would debut a smart lane in early 2024 that would allow passengers to undergo pre-boarding security checks seamlessly. The smart security screening channels that will come into service next week will use 3D and 360-degree CT-based X-ray scanning technology — an upgrade from the system’s current 2D capability. Bag trays will also be automatically recirculated and sterilised, and passengers will get alerts to pick up their personal belongings from their trays once they’ve been scanned.

new security screening technology at hong kong international airport

The new security system uses advanced technology to screen bags and detect hidden items on passengers.

After passengers place their bags in trays for clearance, they will walk through an archway metal detector as an additional security measure. Those who fail to clear this stage will have to go through a full-body scanner, instead of being searched manually by a security official with a hand-held detector. The scanner screen can accurately detect any hidden items using advanced imaging technology, and will show only a simple outline of passengers’ bodies to protect their privacy.

The new security scanning systems will be installed in stages at Terminal 1 from July this year. The first batch will be put into operation next week at the South and North Departures Immigration Halls in Terminal 1. 

Image credits: Hong Kong Airport

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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