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Aviation Service signs explosives detection deal

Aviation Security Service signs deal for explosives detection

The Aviation Security Service today signed a deal with a Sydney-based company to provide explosive detection systems at New Zealand’s international airports.

The systems provide smart software that can automatically detect explosive substances as baggage is conveyed from the passenger terminal to the aircraft.

The equipment is required to meet a standard under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, of which New Zealand is a signatory. The Convention requires all 188 signatory States to have measures in place to screen outgoing baggage on all international flights by January 1, 2006. New Zealand expects to have this in place by October 2005. Aviation Security Service General Manager Mark Everitt says international passengers are unlikely to notice any difference to their travel experience.

"We don’t expect that there will be any change to current arrangements for passengers," Mr Everitt says. "The screening equipment is largely automated so delays are unlikely."

New Zealand has seven international airports - Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin. Mr Everitt says Smiths Detection was chosen because it could provide "a totally integrated system that best met New Zealand’s needs".

The Aviation Security Service, New Zealand’s authorised aviation security service provider, will own and operate the screening equipment. Although the cost of the system is commercially sensitive, it forms part of the Government’s $25 million total allocation to implement international baggage screening. This includes both capital and operating costs.

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