Security and Baggage Rules

Everything you need to know about security restrictions and baggage rules at London City Airport.



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London City Airport is committed to processing passengers as quickly as possible. Passengers are advised to allow additional time for security processing, particularly during peak times. We appreciate your understanding.

Security at the airport isn’t just about screening your bags, find out how we work with The Metropolitan Police and Project Servator.

Baggage rules vary between airlines and the type of ticket purchased. You are advised to check baggage rules with your airline before arriving at London City Airport.

Click here for airline contact details.

Be prepared when you reach security

All cabin baggage will be X-ray screened.

Place laptops and large electrical items separately in a tray after removing outer casing or sleeve.

Put coins, keys, mobile phones and other small items in your coat or hand baggage. Place your hand baggage and coat into a tray.

Place any liquid items, correctly bagged, into the tray.

Pushchairs are subject to hand search and walking aids will be X-ray screened.

Wheelchairs will be thoroughly searched.

New social distancing guidance from the Department for Transport, effective from June 2020

Please be prepared to remove face masks and coverings if requested to do so by Security Officers. Some larger face masks or respirators may require screening, advice for which will be given on arrival in the Security area.

Photographic equipment

It is perfectly safe to carry your photographic equipment through security, Our x-ray machines won’t harm your camera, however the latest x-ray machines could affect analog film. Please speak to a member of security staff who will be able to advise if your film will be affected as we are able to make special arrangements for photographers carrying professional film. Please contact us or your airline before travel.

All cameras and equipment being carried though in cabin baggage will be x-ray screened.

Body Scanner

In accordance with DfT regulations, body scanners are in use in LCY security search areas and are used to screen passengers and staff.

The scanners are the latest in security screening technology, scanning passengers quickly, easily and unobtrusively. The scan, which takes a matter of seconds, displays a generic mannequin figure with no distinguishing features.

In accordance with CAA regulations, new body scanners have been installed at LCY and are to be used with both passengers and staff.

For the benefit of every individual’s security, individuals may be required to be screened using security scanner equipment using millimetre waves. The amount of electromagnetic radiation emitted by millimetre wave security scanners is many times lower than that emitted by a mobile phone. Assessment of the scan data will be conducted by a computer algorithm. No images of individuals are created, and no scan data will be saved.

Individuals who refuse to be scanned will be offered an alternative screening method, involving at least an enhanced hand search in private. Any refusal of the body scanner or an enhanced search will result in the passenger unable to fly.

Why is the scanner being introduced?

The scanners represent the future of security screening and are installed in accordance with CAA regulations throughout UK airports.

How does it work?

Scanners use millimetre wave technology to produce an outline image of the passenger’s body, highlighting any concealed objects.

What happens when a passenger is scanned?

The passenger steps in to the machine, and, while they are in the machine will receive instructions from a security officer. The process takes a matter of seconds and an outline image is produced immediately.

Is the scanner safe?

All security scanners must use millimetre wave technology, as it poses no known health and safety risks. Millimetre wave scanners utilise a very low power, non-ionising form of electromagnetic technology. Non-ionising radiation refers to electromagnetic waves which do not alter atoms in molecules by removing electrons. The amount of electromagnetic radiation emitted by millimetre wave security scanners is many times lower than that emitted by a mobile phone.

Is the passenger’s privacy protected?

Yes. The image is a generic image without distinguishing features which, in any case, is not retained.

Are children, or any other groups, exempted from random selection? No. No-one is exempt from scanning if they are selected, unless they are physically unable to stand in the scanner.

Is there an alternative screening method?

If a passenger opts out of the security scanner, the alternative screening method will be at least a private search (an enhanced hand-search in private which may involve the loosening and/or removal of clothing). The DFT considers that this alternative offers a comparative security assurance to passengers as being screened by a security scanner.