Will liquids soon be allowed through airport security in Spain?

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Will liquids soon be allowed through airport security in Spain?
When will the liquid rule be eliminated at airports in Spain? Photo: TOR WENNSTROM / LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Some countries including the UK have announced that the 100ml liquid rule at airport security may soon be eliminated. So when is this likely to happen at Spanish airports?


Liquids have been prohibited on airplanes in many countries around the world since 2006, after a failed terrorist plot on a plane from London involving liquid explosives.

It's still commonplace at airport security to see people throwing out bottles of water they’ve forgotten about or trying to stuff as many 100ml bottles as they can into one small clear plastic bag. 


While it’s annoying to have to decant your shower gels, shampoos and other bathroom liquids into 100ml containers, it’s also meant that if you only have hand luggage you can’t travel with bottles of wine, jars of local honey, or olive oils. In fact, any type of gel, paste or emulsion has been banned for years.

And as it’s particularly common to travel around Europe with hand luggage only, it’s often meant that those travelling to and from Spain haven’t been able to bring their favourite bottle, spread or jam from back home or have had to leave a liquid Christmas gift behind.  

But this could all be about to change as new enhanced x-ray technology has been invented and is being rolled out across the world.

In March 2022, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the US announced that it had purchased new x-ray systems for some of its airports.

Then in November 2022, Ireland said it would be trialling these new machines at airports in Dublin and Cork, possibly putting an end to the 100ml liquid rule, as well as the necessity to remove laptops from bags.

In mid-December 2022, the UK government also announced it would be using this technology and that liquid security rules would be eliminated at its airports from June 2024.

The enhanced x-ray machines are also being rolled out in the Netherlands and in Finland. 

What does this mean for Spain?

In early December, director of Mallorca's Palma Airport Tomás Melgar announced that after its renovation, Mallorca would become the first airport in Spain to have these new x-ray machines and remove the 100ml liquid rule.

The airport "will be equipped with more modern technology in terms of safety and quality, meaning passengers will not have to remove items from their hand luggage, including liquids or electronic devices, such as computers”, he said in a statement.

The renovations are part of a four-year project costing €559 million, which began in November 2022.


This means that the rule may not be lifted at Mallorca Airport until renovations are completed in 2026.  

Currently, nothing more is known about when the rest of Spain may get these new scanners. Neither the airport group AENA or the Ministry of Public Works have released a statement so far.

Spain may introduce them at the same time as the UK in 2024 or we may have to wait a little longer, until 2026, when it seems they’ll at least be operational in Mallorca.

The good news is, however, that whenever Spain gets them, those travelling here from the UK will most likely be able to bring jars of Marmite and marmalade or bottles of dandelion and burdock drink in their hand luggage from June 2024 onwards.

Those travelling from other countries may have to wait, depending on where they’re coming from.


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