All passengers should allow sufficient time on arrival at the airport to allow for passing through security before arriving at the departure gate. Passengers should check baggage drop times with their airline prior to travel.


Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, it is always sensible to arrive in good time. Knowing what to expect and allowing yourself enough time can help make your journey stress free.

Security at all Highlands and Islands Airports is managed by Airport Management Services Ltd (AMSL). Please visit for recommended information about security. Please read this information carefully to ensure you are familiar with the processes and requirements which are adhered to at all HIAL airports.

The Department for Transport has set the maximum size for an item of hand baggage as 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, including wheels, handles and external pockets. However, some airlines may only allow smaller bags, so check with them first.

Airlines may also have their own rules regarding the number of bags you are allowed to take on the aircraft; therefore please check with you airline before you travel.

Security restrictions also remain in place with regards to taking liquids, gels or pastes through security. If you do not need these items in your hand luggage then please place into your hold baggage:

Passengers may take liquids, gels or pastes on board in their hand luggage provided they meet the following restrictions:

  1. The liquid is in a container with a maximum volume of 100ml
  2. That all liquid containers, meeting the maximum volume of 100ml, can fit comfortably into a transparent, resealable 1 litre plastic bag.  These are available from security agents in the security search comb area.
  3. The plastic bag should be presented separately at the x-ray point.

Passengers requiring special assistance

Passengers with reduced mobility have priority access to the security search area with a Fast Track Lane access point which bypasses the general queue.

All passengers are required to remove outer garments such as jackets and raincoats prior to going through the security check.  In addition, any medications should be removed from your luggage and notified to the security agent.  Where appropriate, these should be accompanied by the necessary paperwork.  General items such as insulin devices do not require certification but should be declared to the security agent.

Our security team are well trained to cater for any medical or mobility requirements.  When going through the security check, please make the security agent aware if you have any medical devices on or in your person.  If you have any metal implants or devices such as pacemakers, or are restricted to a wheelchair, you will not be required to pass through the metal detector.  Instead, you will be given a standard non-invasive security search performed by a security agent of the same gender.  There are private rooms available for this upon request.

If possible, medical certificates or doctors’ letters can be shown to the security agent to evidence any medical equipment or implants.

Any mobility aids will also require to be screened.  Walking sticks will be put through the x-ray machine, with a temporary wooden replacement available for use by those who are able to walk through the metal detector.  Wheelchairs will be physically checked by a security agent including a swab being taken to test for illegal substances.

IMPORTANT: Liquid medicines, baby milk and related products in containers of a maximum volume of 100ml MUST be held within the 1 litre bag. Liquid medicines, baby milk and related products in containers greater than 100ml considered necessary for the trip, can be placed in hand luggage BUT will be subject to a separate verification process.

Before you arrive at the airport

Pack only valuables and things you will need during the journey in your hand baggage. Please keep in mind the following:

  • If you carry any liquids in your hand baggage they must be in small containers of 100ml or less and fit comfortably in a single resealable bag
  • If you are carrying gifts in your hand baggage please do not wrap them
  • Do not put lighters in your hand baggage – if you carry a lighter you must keep it on your person during the flight.

Contact your airline or the airport if you have any questions about your flight or the baggage rules which apply.

You should leave plenty of time to get to the airport.  As a general rule, you should aim to arrive 2 hours before your scheduled departure time for a European flight and 1 hour before your scheduled departure time for a UK domestic flight.

Some airlines have an online check-in facility.  For information regarding online check-in please contact your airline directly.  Passengers checking in online with hold luggage should use the fast bag drop facility at the check-in desks.

Passengers checking in online are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure they arrive at the Departure Gate at the published boarding time, and are advised to allow sufficient time to pass through Security.

Passengers checking in online will be subject to the same security and baggage rules as all other passengers. For more information about baggage restrictions and security, please see above.

At the check in desk, flight tickets and passports/photographic I.D will be checked, ‘hold’ baggage weighed and labelled, and a boarding card issued.

You will require your boarding card to proceed through security and when purchasing goods from the tax and duty free shops. You will also need your passport/photographic ID and boarding card when boarding the aircraft at the gate indicated on your boarding card.

Once you have checked-in for a flight you should not leave the terminal building without advising your airline’s representative.

What happens at security?

There are increased security measures in place at all UK airports, so it’s best to allow plenty of time for security checks. All your hand baggage will need to be screened and you will be asked to pass through a security archway.

You will also be asked if you have packed your own bags. You must never carry anything on the flight on behalf of someone else. If you think an item has been placed in your baggage without your knowledge, you must tell the check-in agent immediately.

Security staff will ask you for your:

  • Resealable bag of liquids – it will be screened separately from your hand baggage
  • Laptop, hairdryer or other large electrical items (these will be screened separately)
  • Coat or jacket, belt and sometimes your shoes

Other Items

Pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs are usually permitted in the cabin, but they will need to be security screened first.

Please take time to read about the dangerous and restricted items which are prohibited from being carried on an aircraft.

Oversized Items

Any item of hand luggage larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm will not be allowed in the aircraft cabin. It must be checked in as hold baggage, with the exception of musical instruments.

Musical Instruments

If you plan on travelling with a large musical instrument, it is best to contact your airline before booking, as you may need to make special arrangements, such as buying an extra seat. Any musical instrument you bring with you will need to be screened separately.



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