04 August 2013
Auckland Airport is involved with a world-first biosecurity trial that uses x-ray images to screen airline baggage before it arrives in New Zealand.
Aviation security x-ray images from the baggage of passengers flying on Air New Zealand from Melbourne to Auckland will be transferred to Auckland so that biosecurity staff here can assess them before the plane lands. Any bag containing biosecurity risk items will then be matched with the appropriate passenger so they can be further scrutinized when they land.
If the trials are successful, the Ministry of Primary Industries intends to extend the system to other major Australian airports and, in the longer term, it could be useful on routes that pose a higher biosecurity risk, including South East Asia, parts of Europe and the Pacific.
“New Zealand is leading the game here,” Primary Industries minister Nathan Guy says. “A number of countries, airport companies and airlines are keen to see if this technology provides biosecurity benefits.”