The advanced security measures can cause slower processing and longer queues
Passengers flying from New Zealand airports will soon encounter a new approach towards security checks.
The country’s Aviation Security Service has revealed their plans to implement advanced imaging technology scanners to six major airports meaning travellers will show more than just their ID card and boarding pass before they board a plane.
Passing through the new scanners that are based on non-ionising radiation which hasn’t show any negative effects on health, won’t be mandatory. However, if passengers refuse the scanning, they might be forced to undergo a classic physical search.
The measure follows a trial that has taken place at Wellington airport. While enhancing security, the test use of the full-body scanners has shown that the process prolongs the security check time, leading to longer queues.
The security service aims to install the device to the Auckland Airport’s international terminal over next year while Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and Wellington airports will receive their own scanners by late 2020.
“Recent threats to aviation security have demonstrated an increase in people concealing prohibited items on or in their bodies, including Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs),” said the Aviation Security Service’s chief executive, Graeme Harris.
“Millimetre wave technology, such as that used in AIT machines, is able to detect the concealment of such items, even when they have no metal parts or power sources.”
In a ministerial briefing, he also noted: “Global bodies, such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the International Air Transport Association and the Airports Council International, are continuing to encourage evaluation and deployment of AIT systems.”
However, the technology has been labelled as controversial as it performs “digital strip search”, critics have said.
To avoid breaking the country’s Aviation Crimes Act, the devices will be allowed to show only genderless figures. Also, the items revealed by the scan won’t be shown. The technology will only show suspicious places on the passenger’s body member of staff will perform a classic search.