End to liquid rule and electronic devices control during security checks at Spanish airports

by Lorraine Williamson
airports security checks
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MADRID – Good news for air travellers in Spain! From 2024, passengers at Spanish airports will no longer have to remove liquids and electronics from their hand luggage during security checks. The 100 ml liquid regulation is also cancelled. 

This is thanks to the implementation of new 3D X-ray scanners that can inspect luggage without opening it. From 2024, travellers will be able to carry liquids and laptops in their hand luggage during security checks. 

Aena, the company that manages Spanish airports, will purchase new equipment for this purpose. Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat will be the first airports to implement the system, followed by Palma de Mallorca and other airports in Aena’s network. 

Security modernisation trajectory 

This initiative is part of Aena’s comprehensive security modernisation project. This includes automated lines for hand luggage management, remote inspection systems and biometric access controls. The new scanners use X-ray technology known as EDSCB (Automatic Cabin Baggage Explosive Detection System). These can produce high-resolution volumetric 3D images. 

This technology improves the accuracy of baggage inspection and minimises false alarms. It also complements the visual inspection by the security staff with automatic object recognition. Which results in more comfort and safety for the passengers. 

No more 100 millilitre fluid restrictions 

The new technique reduces the use of trays and thus saves time. The maximum limit of 100 millilitres of liquid that has been in force since 2006 will also be lifted. Passengers are allowed to bring medium or large toiletries, water or soda bottles, and other liquid items. 


Significant improvement in passenger comfort 

The new safety measures will significantly improve passenger comfort. In addition, they help airlines reduce delays caused by lengthy security checks. 

Scanners tested in UK and US 

The scanners are already being tested at London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports. Furthermore, the UK government has announced that it is changing its security rules to make them operational by 2024. 

The United States’ Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has also tested the new devices at 15 airports, including Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and Chicago. 

Europe also supports it 

The European Commission is also in favour of easing restrictions imposed after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, in New York City. However, the liquid rule was introduced in 2006 after Al Qaeda’s failed attack on seven planes departing from Heathrow. 

Investment of more than 1 billion euros 

Aena’s comprehensive security plan includes a €1.17 billion investment in security equipment and other measures from 2018 to 2028. These will help Spanish airports stay at the forefront of technological advancements and improve the efficiency and comfort of security checkpoints. 

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