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Avsec well prepared for permanent screening


From the Aviation Security Service October 29, 2001

Avsec well prepared for permanent screening

The Aviation Security Service (Avsec) said today it was well prepared for permanent screening of domestic air travellers and carry-on baggage, announced today by Transport Minister Mark Gosche.

“In the six weeks since the US terrorist attacks, we have implemented procedures that will serve us well in the future,” Avsec General Manager Mark Everitt said. “We are well prepared for permanent domestic screening."

Mr Everitt said he hoped, however, that the travelling public would be tolerant while new procedures were put in place.

“Arrangements at most airports until today have been temporary in nature. We will be working closely with the airport companies and airlines to cover issues such as signage and suitable locations for screening points. We aim to have travellers inconvenienced as little as possible and to maintain air schedules – while also ensuring there is no compromise in airline safety.” It would take some time for permanent domestic screening to be “bedded in”, Mr Everitt said.

“While we are working through this process, I hope travellers will recognise that Avsec and NZ Defence Force personnel have been working long hours under sometimes difficult circumstances. Please, don’t shoot the messenger.” Travellers with complaints are urged to contact an appropriate Avsec, airline or airport manager.

Mr Everitt also made a further plea for travellers not to carry sharp objects with them past the check-in counter.

“Domestic screening is now a fact of life in New Zealand – travellers need to change their mindset about it, so that they start thinking about leaving sharp items at home or placing them in their hold-stow luggage,” Mr Everitt said. “Don’t leave it until you reach the screening point.”

ENDS

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