National airport operator Aena is ready to start rolling out the latest generation of baggage scanners at some of Spain's largest airports, including Madrid and Barcelona. The new equipment will be there by the summer season next year.
These devices are officially known as — CT. They are sometimes referred to as 3D scanners because they create a complex 3D image of the contents of a suitcase or bag.
The 3D image is then analyzed using a sophisticated algorithm that can automatically detect weapons, explosives, and other prohibited items , including hazardous liquids.
Currently, several airports, including in Amsterdam, have connected computer scanners to the processes. During their work, they have proven themselves so well that security officers were able to significantly simplify the rules for carrying hand luggage or eliminate restrictions altogether.
Most countries, however, do not yet risk lifting restrictions on the amount of liquids that passengers are allowed to take with them in hand luggage, but the UK government has already announced a complete lifting of restrictions as soon as the equipment is introduced at major airports. There is even a deadline set for Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham — early 2024.
According to new legislation being submitted to Parliament, passengers will be allowed to carry up to 2 liters of safe liquids in their cabin baggage.
The rules regarding the carriage of liquids by passengers in cabin baggage have been introduced in 2006 after the infamous liquid bomb incident on a transatlantic flight. The plan was thwarted by British and American intelligence agencies.
The plot revealed a serious vulnerability in airport security due to the possibility of liquid explosives being smuggled onto passenger planes, disguising them as bottles of popular soft drinks.
Computer scanners are also used in the US, but the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it will take years for liquids to be relaxed in the US. “First you need to introduce computer scanners, and then change federal requirements.”