Spanish Airports Set to Streamline Security with New Hand Luggage Rules

Major Change Coming in 2024:  Spanish airport authority Aena is set to implement a significant change in hand luggage procedures at major airports across the country throughout 2024. This move mirrors similar changes already underway at other major European airports and aims to significantly reduce wait times during security checks.

Goodbye to the Scramble: Say goodbye to the pre-security scramble to remove liquids and electronics from your carry-on! The introduction of advanced 3D X-ray scanners will eliminate this step. These scanners offer a more detailed picture than current systems, allowing for a clearer inspection of your belongings without unpacking them. This technology is already familiar to frequent travelers, having been implemented at some US airports.

The Rollout Begins: The initial rollout of these scanners will focus on major airports, starting with Barajas in Madrid and El Prat in Barcelona. Aena plans to expand the technology to other key airports in the future, though the exact timeline for specific locations like Alicante remains unclear.

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Liquids: The 100ml Rule Still Applies: While the new scanners allow for a more streamlined inspection process, the rules regarding liquids remain unchanged. Aena reiterates: "Liquids, perfumes, creams, sprays, foams, gels, and shampoos, hand sanitizer gel, and toothpaste will need to be in individual containers of 100ml or less, housed within a transparent, resealable plastic bag with a maximum capacity of one liter."

Products Considered Liquids: Be aware that many everyday items are categorized as liquids for air travel regulations. This includes items like perfumes, creams, foams, lotions, jams, gels, toothpaste, and even mixtures of liquids and solids. Ensure you comply with these restrictions to avoid delays at security.

Scanners Yet to Arrive: Despite the finalized plan, the implementation of this new system is still pending the arrival of the EDSCB scanners (Automatic Explosive Detection System for Cabin Baggage). Aena also plans to integrate this technology into hold baggage screening systems. This project is part of an €800 million loan acquired by Aena in early 2023, with €188 million specifically allocated for security enhancements and innovation.

Overall, this change represents a positive step towards quicker and more efficient security checks for passengers traveling through Spanish airports. While the initial rollout focuses on major airports, the plan is to expand the technology progressively, offering a smoother travel experience for all.