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Stow It, Passengers Urged

If it’s got a blade, and you can’t live without it – put it in your suitcase. Don’t take it into the aircraft cabin.

That’s the message from the Aviation Security Service in the wake of the United States terrorist attack last week, resulting in the implementation of additional security measures worldwide.

“We are getting hundreds of passengers through our airports every day who are carrying some sort of sharp cutting instrument,” General Manager Mark Everitt said today. “It might be a small pocket knife, a letter opener or simply a pair of manicure scissors.

“The message is that if it has a cutting blade of any sort, then it should be put in a suitcase before passengers check in.”

Mr Everitt says these sort of implements are being taken from all international passengers and some domestic passengers as they pass the security screening points. The implements are put in bags, labeled and placed in the cargo hold. Passengers pick them up along with their other luggage at their destination.

Alternatively, passengers may put the items in amnesty bins provided for this purpose.

“Labeling and making arrangements to put these items in the hold is time-consuming and may lead to more waiting or delays for the passengers. It is also frustrating for Avsec officers at an already busy time for us,” Mr Everitt said. “So far delays to flight schedules have been minimal, but it would help if people simply did not try to take these things on board with them.”

Aviation Security Service staff are still using their discretion with passengers on some domestic flights.

“We’re likely to let through the elderly woman who wants to carry a pair of scissors in her embroidery bag,” Mr Everitt said.

Delays to passengers can also be avoided if people check in earlier than they may have done in the past and if they limit the number of bags they try to take into the cabin of the aircraft.

ENDS

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