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Traveller holding up shampoo bottles in clear plastic bag Which Airports In Spain Will Eliminate The Hand Luggage Liquid Rule In 2024? Expat Tips

In a groundbreaking development set to revolutionise air travel, Spanish airports are set to eliminate the stringent hand luggage liquid restrictions by 2024. This transformative shift is set to create a hassle-free experience for travellers while maintaining safety standards, as Aena, the public company managing Spanish airports, adopts cutting-edge 3D X-ray scanners to screen carry-on luggage.

The End of Liquid Limitations: A Welcome Change

For over a decade, passengers have grappled with the tedious task of segregating their liquids into 100ml bottles and removing electronics at security checkpoints. This era of inconvenience is about to come to an end, allowing passengers to keep their toiletries, beverages like wine, and olive oil intact in their hand luggage.

Which Airports Will Lead the Way?

The rollout of these revolutionary airport security rules will commence in 2024, starting with Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El-Prat airports, as they become the first Spanish terminals to implement this forward-thinking approach.

Additionally, Palma de Mallorca Airport is slated to join the ranks of the newly streamlined security procedures by the end of 2024. The installation of advanced 3D X-ray scanners will follow a phased schedule, with Malaga Costa del Sol leading in 2025, and subsequent implementation at Gran Canaria, Tenerife Sur, Fuerteventura, Cesar Manrique Lanzarote, Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernandez, Ibiza, Bilbao, Menorca, and Valencia set for 2026.

The Motivation Behind the Changes

The motivation behind these changes lies in enhancing security measures while expediting the screening process to reduce the long queues and delays that have marred previous travel experiences. Since 2006, the restrictions on liquids in hand luggage were implemented worldwide following a foiled terrorist plot involving improvised explosive devices concealed in soft drink bottles. The 100ml limit was established, encompassing a wide range of liquids, pastes and gels..

Advanced Scanners and X-ray Capabilities

Electronics, such as laptops, were also subjected to scrutiny due to their potential to obstruct other items or conceal explosives and weapons. However, the deployment of advanced 3D scanners and enhanced X-ray technology will enable security personnel to scrutinise carry-on luggage with greater precision. These scanners have undergone successful trials in the United States and are set to be deployed in numerous European airports. The United Kingdom has plans to adopt this technology from June 2024, while Ireland is conducting trials in Dublin and Cork.

The End of the 100ml Limit for Hand Luggage Liquids

In the case of Spain, the 100ml limit for liquids will no longer be in effect, allowing travellers to carry liquids of any size in their hand luggage. Containers will no longer need to be stored in transparent, sealable plastic bags, and there will be no maximum limit for the total volume of liquids. Various items, including perfume, cream, foam, gel, shampoo, lotions, jams, toothpaste, mixtures of liquid and solid, and items with a similar consistency, will no longer be subject to this regulation. Travellers will be able to bring liquids of various sizes without restrictions. Liquid medications, special dietary items, and baby formula required during the journey can also be carried in hand luggage without the need for passengers to provide prescriptions or justifications for these items.

European Parliament's Resolution

As travellers eagerly anticipate the dawn of a new era in airport security, these changes align with the European Parliament's recent resolution in favour of allowing passengers to carry standard cabin bags free of charge. While this regulation is not yet enforceable, the European Commission is actively working on establishing common regulations for hand luggage that will apply to all airlines, including low-cost carriers like Ryanair. These changes are set to not only enhance security but also simplify the travel experience for all passengers passing through Spanish airports, marking a significant milestone in the world of aviation.