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Total baggage screening starts at airports


Total baggage screening starts at airports

Wellington and Palmerston North airports are to introduce total baggage screening for outgoing international passengers from Monday (September 26).


The airports are the first in New Zealand to begin screening of hold baggage as well as carry-on baggage. Other international airports will introduce the new security measure during the next two months.


Aviation Security Service General Manager Mark Everitt says total baggage screening is likely to be largely unnoticed by passengers and will not require them to arrive any earlier at the airport.


“We are using a hi-tech X-ray system that should see the vast majority of bags move smoothly through the screening process and out to the aircraft without anyone noticing any difference,” Mr Everitt says. “The only likely delay will be if we find something of concern, in which case I think most passengers will be quite happy to see it dealt with.”


If Avsec officers do find something of concern, the passenger will be paged and the bags will be opened and examined in their presence.


The new measure is being introduced progressively at airports to ensure New Zealand complies with International Civil Aviation Organisation standards, which come into effect on January 1, 2006.

The standards require outbound international flights to have all passenger baggage – not just carry-on bags – screened for explosives and other dangerous devices.

ENDS

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