New airport screening could mean hand luggage is checked as we walk through duty free shops

A Government fund to revolutionise airport screening could mean hand luggage is checked as passengers walk through duty free shops.

Companies and universities are being encouraged to bid for a share of £3 million for innovative research in detecting concealed explosives.

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This could include "portable technology" to screen items away from the main search area, the Department for Transport said.

Proposals could also lead to passengers not having to remove laptops and tablets from their carry-on bags to have them scanned.

Since March passengers have been stopped from taking large electronic devices in their hand baggage on inbound flights from some airports in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia over security fears.

Security minister Ben Wallace said: "Aviation security is a Government priority and one with an ever-changing threat landscape.

"We need to embrace and encourage the talent from industry that will allow us to stay several steps ahead of those who wish us harm."

Ben Wallace (John Stillwell/PA)
Ben Wallace (John Stillwell/PA)

Aviation minister Lord Callanan said: "The safety and security of the travelling public will always be our top priority but we understand that this can sometimes be inconvenient for passengers - especially families with young children.

"As technology improves we want to make the aviation experience quicker and easier for all holidaymakers."