Ireland West Airport in Knock, Co Mayo has completed the installation of a new, next-generation cabin baggage screening system which is now fully operational at the airport.

Two of the "cutting-edge screening systems" were installed over the previous two weeks, Ireland West Airport said on December 4.

The new systems will "further enhance the passenger experience at the airport."

These new machines will remove the need for passengers to remove laptops and liquids from cabin bags and further speed up queue times.

With the new system, all liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, pastes, baby food, medicines, and special dietary products that would previously have to be put into clear, sealed plastic bags and presented separately to hand luggage can now remain packed in hand luggage.

With the installation of these new machines, the restriction on liquids of more than 100ml no longer applies, and passengers can travel with larger quantities of liquids if they fit into a cabin bag.

In addition, electrical items such as laptops and tablets no longer have to be separately screened and can remain in cabin bags, which will come as welcome news for passengers using the airport.

The new system reduces touchpoints and will make the passenger journey through security even quicker and easier, the Airport said.

Ireland West Airport says that the new system will deliver "the highest standards of security" while also "significantly improving the customer experience," resulting in improvements to both the security screening process and operational efficiency.

Ireland West Airport is delighted to have completed the installation of a new next-generation cabin baggage screening system, which is now fully operational at the airport.

We spoke to Pearse Concannon, Chief Fire and Security Officer, who explained how the machines work and…

— Ireland West Airport (@Irelandwest) December 4, 2023

Commenting on the new system, Joe Gilmore, Managing Director of Ireland West Airport, said: “This new security screening facility is a fantastic new state of the art system and is the latest enhancement to the passenger journey at Ireland West Airport.

“The airport prides itself on the ease and stress-free nature of using the airport and this new screening system further enhances the experience for our customers, ensuring passengers have even more time now to relax in our duty-free shop, restaurants and bars before their flight. 

“This project forms part of an overall €6m investment in projects at the airport this year to comply with International safety and security regulations and to future proof the airport as we continue to enhance our facilities and the customer experience as we welcome over 800,000 passengers through the airport this year. 

“I would also like to acknowledge the continued funding support provided by the Department of Transport towards these critically important safety and security related projects which will provide for an even smoother experience for passengers using the airport."

This project forms part of an overall €6m investment in upgrading facilities at the airport this year which included the following key projects:

  1. Upgrade and resurfacing works in our airport car parks
  2. Opening of a new Sláinte Barista Café
  3. Enhancements to our Shopwest Departures Retail Shop
  4. Runway End Safety Area works
  5. Progressing of the airport’s sustainability and environmental strategy to achieve ‘net zero’ for its carbon emissions by 2050
  6. Major upgrade of the airport’s electrical infrastructure
  7. Purchase of new fire tender vehicle and extension of Fire Station building
  8. Upgrade of the Oversized Baggage X-Ray System
  9. Upgrade of the Security Screening Access area

Shannon Airport in Co Clare previously unveiled a similar system, while Ireland’s Department of Transport said earlier this year that Kerry and Donegal Airports currently allow the carrying of liquids and gels above 100 ml and do not require liquids and gels or large electronic equipment to be removed from baggage for screening.

Meanwhile, daa, the operator of Dublin and Cork Airports, said earlier this year that it was trialing the new technology.

In 2006, the European Commission adopted the restrictions on liquids being brought on planes after a terrorist plot to blow up aircraft while in flight using homemade explosives was thwarted. This ban was envisaged as a temporary restriction to be lifted when suitable technology to screen liquids for explosives became readily available.