The first stage of a £5 million security upgrade at Stansted Airport has been unveiled.

The new Central Image Processing scanning system sees a team of experts assess the hand luggage X-rays, instead of having one person at each lane.

The new technology will be implemented in 13 out of 22 security lanes, with all expected to be open by Christmas.

It is hoped passengers will pass through security checks more quickly because longer lanes provide more time for customers to get ready for the checks.

Jon Fowler, head of security, said: “Almost all of it is the same for the customer.

“If there is something the operator sees they are really concerned about, we would then bring it back.”

There are a rigid set of rules that all passengers must adhere too when going through airport security, but despite the no liquid bottles over 100mls rule being in force for just over ten years, passengers still

seem to be confused.

About 15 per cent of people still get caught out at the airports security scanners.

Anita Harrison, security performance manager, said: “98 per cent

of our passengers get through security in ten minutes, it is actually very quick, but people can underestimate the situation and think they have done all the hard work before.”

This summer, a passenger was stopped at Stansted after being spotted with an iPhone case shaped like a gun.

Essex Police tweeted a picture of the device and suggested the unidentified traveller could have been mistaken for a terrorist and shot by armed officers.

However, Mrs Harrison said innocuous objects can often cause the biggest concern.

She said: “A couple of years ago, we found a hand-made Christmas card that had a musical mechanism inside. From the scanner, it looked like a letter bomb.

“Everyone was really concerned, but we soon realised what it was.

“If you think about the volume of people moving through here, with lots of different languages and characters, then inevitably it can be stressful.

 “Our officers sometimes have to put up with some stress.

“Security is unfortunately a necessary evil, but most of the time people get flustered because they are not prepared.”

The airport is also in the process of installing a series of new body scanners, and two are already in use.

The plan is to have one between each lane of the new security system, meaning an even faster experience for passengers.