Zurich set to phase out 100ml liquid rule for hand luggage, airport suggests

Zurich set to phase out 100ml liquid rule for hand luggage, airport suggests

With more and more airports around the world ditching strict maximum liquid requirements at security, officials at the airport in Zurich have confirmed that they would soon be following suit. From this summer, Swiss police will begin a trial of new CT scanners that will allow passengers to pass through without having to take their electronic devices and liquids out of their bags.

Where does the 100ml airport security rule come from?

The infamous 100-millilitre liquid rule at airport security was first introduced on August 10, 2006, after the British security services discovered a plot to carry liquid explosives onto several transatlantic flights. However, thanks to the development of new screening and security technologies, several airports around the world are moving to scrap the rigid rules.

The change has been made possible by the installation of new CT security scanners. Much like those used in hospitals, they are able to create a three-dimensional view of the inside of travellers’ bags, which security staff can rotate and zoom into. 

Airports around the world move away from liquid rules

In theory, the use of these CT scanners means that people will no longer have to remove liquids and electronics from their luggage, nor adhere to the maximum liquid rule. According to the British Times, this will help increase flight punctuality, as airport security and baggage checks are two of the most common sources of delays.

In June 2023, Helsinki Airport became one of the first to allow passengers to bring up to two litres of liquid in hand luggage, with London City Airport following suit on April 4, 2024. Munich is set to become the first airport in Germany to get rid of the rule, expected at some point in 2025, while Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona El-Prat in Spain are expected to follow on soon.

Zurich Airport to streamline security checks from summer 2024

Speaking to 20 Minuten, Flughafen Zurich spokesperson Elena Stern announced that the largest airport in Switzerland was also going to scrap liquid rules in the future. “CT scanners will be used at security checkpoints at Zurich Airport in the future,” she confirmed.

First, two new security lanes will be set up with the CT scanners installed. “The plan is to put the two lines into operation in the summer of 2024,” she noted. While the “100ml rule still applies in principle” during the trial, travellers who use the lanes will not have to take their liquids or electronic devices out of their bags - akin to the system used in Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

The two new lines will be tested for six months before all 26 security lines at the award-winning airport will be converted to use CT scanners. Stern concluded that they “assume that [the 100 ml rule] at Zurich Airport will only be lifted when the new devices are completely switched over”, meaning that if all goes well, passengers will be able to bring two litres of liquid on their holidays at some point in 2025.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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