Spanish airport authority AENA has decided to bring forward a planned security improvement plan, scheduled for 2003, for immediate implementation in order to combat the current terrorist threat. While security measures at all airports, in particular Palma, Madrid and Barcelona were stepped up immediately, AENA's director general, Carlos Medrano, revealed yesterday that steps are already under way to make sure that every piece of luggage going aboard flights in Spain will have to go through x-ray scanners “to guarantee that not a single potential weapon which could be used in a hijack, makes its way on board a plane.”Passenger controls have also been increased with security officers checking passenger identification documents to make sure that they correspond to their reservation. A series of other passenger control measures are also in place, but AENA prefers to maintain a maximum level of secrecy on its new security operation. All the measures which have been introduced over the past week were due to come in to effect at all Spanish, and European, airports next year, but AENA has decided to bring the initiative forward.

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