The UK government is under pressure to maintain its June 1 deadline for the installation of 3D scanners at security checkpoints in UK airports, despite concerns about potential disruptions during the upcoming summer season. Transport Secretary Mark Harper set the deadline in December 2022, aiming to end restrictions on liquids in cabin bags once the scanners are in place.

However, many of the UK's major airports have requested extensions or "alleviations" of the deadline. Steve Heapy, chief of Jet2, expressed concerns about potential disruptions and turmoil if the government adheres to the deadline. He emphasized these concerns at the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) annual dinner in Glasgow.

Despite industry appeals for flexibility, a senior aviation source revealed that the government is determined not to backtrack on its commitment. The plan is to have advanced computed tomography (CT) scanners operational by June at airports handling over one million passengers annually, facilitating the relaxation of liquid restrictions in carry-on bags.

However, it's increasingly clear that meeting this deadline is challenging for most airports due to the limited availability of scanner manufacturers and the significant construction work required for installation. As a result, there's growing anxiety among airports and airlines about potential passenger confusion and security delays.

While some airports, such as Luton, may be ready by June 1, others, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, and Stansted, have sought extensions. The situation varies widely among airports, with some terminals better prepared than others.

Heapy called on the industry to lobby MPs for a deadline extension, which drew a mixed response from the Department for Transport. Meanwhile, airports and airlines are considering how to advise passengers if the deadline remains unchanged, emphasizing the importance of minimizing disruptions and avoiding passengers losing items at security.

Despite these challenges, the government has remained tight-lipped on the issue, citing security concerns. However, there's a growing consensus that rushing the implementation before all airports are ready could lead to chaos and confusion among passengers, ultimately undermining the goal of enhancing aviation security.