All bags now screened at Auckland
New Zealand’s Aviation Security Service is to begin screening baggage of departing international passengers at Auckland
Airport from Monday (Nov 21).
The airport, which handles about 70 per cent of New Zealand’s international passenger traffic, is the last major airport
to introduce total baggage screening. Previously, Aviation Security Service (Avsec) staff screened only carry-on bags,
passengers and checked bags on request from airlines.
The hi-tech X-ray system screens hold baggage as part of the usual baggage handling process, and can deal with about
3000 bags an hour. Nearly 6.5 million international passengers pass through Auckland every year, with half that number
Auckland International Airport Chief Executive Don Huse says the move to full baggage screening will mean less
congestion in the check-in area.
“Being able to remove another step from the departure process will be of great benefit to the passenger.”
Avsec General Manager Mark Everitt says the new screening system appears to have been largely unnoticed by passengers
throughout the country, mainly because it has worked seamlessly with the usual baggage handling operations. Although
Auckland Airport has by far the largest volume of traffic, he is also confident that comprehensive testing and the
experience of other airports will mean the new system will operate smoothly at Auckland.
“We’ve had no hold-ups,” Mr Everitt says. “The vast majority of bags move smoothly through the screening process and out
to the aircraft without delay. Passengers have not had to arrive any earlier at the airport than they would have
If Avsec officers do find anything of concern, the passenger will be advised and with their consent the bags will be
opened and examined in their presence.
The new security measure is being introduced 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 screened for explosives and other dangerous devices.