Biosecurity x-ray trial targets hand baggage
A new biosecurity x-ray machine targeting hand baggage carried by international air passengers will be trialled at
Auckland Airport this summer.
The Ministry for Primary Industries says the new machine has the potential to improve biosecurity and passenger flow at
The machine will target small bags, rather than suitcases, says MPI Detection Technology Manager Brett Hickman.
“This is an area that has the highest risk of bringing fruit fly into the country. Our stats show nearly 90 percent of
seizures of fruit fly host materials are from hand baggage.”
MPI biosecurity staff have started directing selected passengers to the new unit during arrival peak times in the
morning and evening.
“We have effectively added another lane to the biosecurity area, which speeds up waiting times for passengers.”
Mr Hickman says the machine is the most technically advanced x-ray unit operated by MPI, making it easier for operators
to detect risk items.
“It produces very high quality images. It also provides a side and a top view of baggage instead of just a single view.
He says x-ray screening of baggage plays an important role in preventing unwanted pests and diseases from entering New
“It is part of a layered approach to managing risk that includes detector dogs and careful risk assessment based on
intelligence and passenger profiling.”
MPI currently owns and operates 28 fixed x-ray units for baggage scanning at international airports, military bases and
the Auckland International Mail Centre.
It also operates three mobile machines used mainly to screen bags carried by cruise ship passengers.