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Passenger Items Find Good Home

Thursday, April 4, 2002

Community groups have been quick to take up an offer by the Aviation Security Service (Avsec) to donate items confiscated from air travellers.

At least 38,000 items have been taken from passengers since September 11, when enhanced aviation security measures were introduced, including domestic passenger screening. Among them were 18 gun parts, 102 pieces of ammunition, 17,983 knives and blades and 15,195 scissors.

“Some of these items – such as knives – will be destroyed, but it would be a shame to throw out the thousands of other more useful items,” Avsec General Manager Mark Everitt said today. “Many of them could be put to good use by charitable organisations, schools and hospitals.”

Groups such as Scouts and Guides are receiving Swiss Army knives, and Avsec has had inquiries from nursing and health studies classes for scissors, and hospitality schools wanting corkscrews and bottle openers.

Some items are to go to organisations and schools in the Pacific Islands.

“We’re happy to find a good home for them,” Mr Everitt said. “I also remind passengers again of the importance of ensuring that they are not carrying dangerous items in their hand luggage before proceeding through the screening point. Such items need to be left at home or placed in luggage going into the aircraft hold. This is a real waste. I want to reduce the volume of confiscated items – but this can only be achieved with the co-operation of the travelling public.”

Organisations interested in receiving some of the confiscated goods can contact the local Avsec Manager, as follows:

Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua - Don Alexander, phone (09) 256-1721 Wellington and Palmerston North - Chris Tosswill, phone (04) 801-0108 Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown - Chris Watkins, phone (03) 353-1900

Ends

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