Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Hi-tech Hand-luggage Scanner Gives Biosecurity A Huge Boost At Auckland Airport

A new hi-tech baggage scanner at Auckland Airport will provide another crucial layer of protection against invasive pests and diseases, says Biosecurity New Zealand.

The computer tomography (CT) scanner made its first detection earlier this month – two bananas in a small carry-on bag arriving with a New Zealand family from Dubai.

Biosecurity New Zealand has been trialling the technology with selected flights since late October. Arriving passengers have their hand baggage scanned before they collect checked-in items from the airport carousels.

“We’re deliberately targeting baggage that travellers carry off the plane. It’s where we’re most likely to find food that could host fruit fly and other pests,” says Brett Hickman, Border Technology Manager, Biosecurity New Zealand.

Biosecurity is crucially important to New Zealand, says Mr Hickman, as an unwanted pest or disease could devastate New Zealand’s primary sector economy or its natural environment.

He says the new scanner provides three-dimensional images that are much clearer than traditional x-ray images.

“The 3D images make it easier to pinpoint items of biosecurity concern.”

Mr Hickman says the technology screens baggage faster than x-ray. It also has potential to automatically detect risk items arriving with international passengers and mail.

“We’re working closely with Australia authorities and the manufacturer to develop software that will make this a reality.

“We have already started developing algorithms that can find fruit, meat and seafood, and prospects are looking good for detecting seeds.”

Biosecurity New Zealand now has two CT scanners at Auckland Airport. Officers have been trialling a larger unit since late 2018 to scan suitcases and other checked-in baggage.

“We plan to use the technology to screen baggage before arriving travellers pick up their belongings from the airline – similar to how security screening operates at many international airports,” says Mr Hickman.

“The screening information will be electronically directed to officers, putting them in a better position to evaluate risk when they interact with travellers”.

VIDEO: - The 920 CT scanner at Auckland Airport, including the image of the banana detection

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Grey Power: Is Disappointed To Learn Of More Bank Closures

Many older people are being left without essential services because of cost cutting and the march of modern technology. It is now expected that most banking transactions can occur via the internet or telephone. Jan Pentecost, President of the Grey Power ... More>>


Economy: Supply Chain On Brink Of Overload Says National Road Carriers

The New Zealand supply chain is on the brink of overload and it looks like the upcoming peak imports season may push it over the edge says National Road Carriers Association (NRC) CEO David Aitken. “Worldwide supply chains are in disarray,” says Mr Aitken. ... More>>

Retail: Supermarkets Announced As Government’s Second Market Study

The Government has today launched a market study to ensure New Zealanders are paying a fair price for groceries. More>>


Statistics New Zealand: Retail Sales Recover In The September 2020 Quarter

Retail sales values recorded the largest September quarter rise since the series began in 1995, Stats NZ said today. Spending on major household items, vehicles, and groceries contributed to the strong 7.4 percent ($1.8 billion) rise in total ... More>>

Kea Aerospace: New Zealand Flies Into The Stratosphere

Development has started on a solar-powered, unmanned aircraft that can fly in the stratosphere continuously for months at a time. The zero-emission aircraft will carry a suite of imagery equipment that will be game-changing for many industries, vastly ... More>>

Stats NZ: Births And Deaths: Year Ended September 2020

Births and deaths releases provide statistics on the number of births and deaths registered in New Zealand, and selected fertility and mortality rates. Key facts For the year ended September 2020: 57,753 live births and 32,670 deaths ... More>>


Forest & Bird: Kākāpō Wins Bird Of The Year 2020

The nation has voted and Aotearoa New Zealand has a new Bird of the Year. New Zealand’s moss-colored flightless parrot has climbed to the top-spot for the second time in Forest & Bird’s annual Te Manu Rongonui o Te Tau/Bird of the Year competition. ... More>>