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When do Spain's new airport rules for liquids and laptops begin?

The Local Spain
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When do Spain's new airport rules for liquids and laptops begin?
Passengers queue for a security check at El Prat airport. Photo: Josep LAGO/AFP.

New rules relating to carrying liquids and laptops through airport security in Spain were announced two years ago. So when will they come into force?

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Travellers departing Spanish airports have been eagerly anticipating relaxed rules for taking their hand luggage through security since these were first announced back in 2022.

However, despite legal changes to airport security rules approved by Spain's Ministry of Transport in January and that came into force on February 1st, the new hand luggage security system is not yet in force.

The new rules, already partially implemented in other countries such as the United Kingdom, essentially mean that liquids and electronics will not have to be removed from luggage and scanned separately, as they currently are.

It does not involve the lifting of the 100ml liquid limit in hand luggage as was previously thought, as this is an EU-wide rule. 

According to Spain's airport operator Aena, even though the Spanish government has now officially approved the changes, Spain's airports don't yet have the technology.

"The new EDSCB scanners will allow us to pass through security without having to remove liquids and electronic devices from our hand luggage. This will make it easier and smoother to pass through the checkpoints," the airport manager says.

Aena is yet to announce when exactly the new scanning technology will actually come into force though, stating: "The new hand luggage control equipment will be implemented progressively”.

However, director of Barcelona’s El Prat airport Eva Valenzuela has indicated in the Spanish press that the hope is for the new system to be rolled out at Terminal 2 by the summer of 2024, before being extended to T1.

Two of Spain’s major airports, Madrid-Barajas and Palma de Mallorca, are also reported to be preparing to install the 3D scanners in 2024.

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As mentioned early, for now there are no changes with regards to the 100ml limit for liquids, aerosols and gels (‘LAGs’ as they’re known) that passengers can carry with them in hand luggage onto the aircraft.

Apart from being legislation that applies across the EU, getting rid of the liquid limit is something that the Ministry of Transport points cannot even be considered until 3D scanner technology is implemented, a responsibility of Aena.

In similar travel and tech-related news, Spanish airline Vueling recently began offering a facial recognition service to passengers as a quicker way to get through security checks and into their plane seats. 

READ ALSO: Facial recognition starts to replace boarding passes at Spain's airports

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