Avsec screens passengers and their baggage, as well as guarding aircraft and patrolling at airports around New Zealand.

All departing international passengers and their carry-on baggage are screened, as is their checked-in baggage.

All departing domestic passengers and their carry-on baggage at security-designated airports are screened, where an aircraft has 90 or more seats.

Passengers and their carry-on baggage are screened to ensure prohibited items such as knives, firearms, incendiary devices, weapons, dangerous goods, explosives, and other threat items are not carried onto the aircraft. Screening on international flights also ensures passengers do not take more than the allowed quantity of powders, liquids, aerosols and gels (PLAGs) into the aircraft.

Avsec is currently implementing a screening technology modernisation programme. 

Screening of passengers and their cabin baggage

Passenger screening has traditionally been undertaken with walk-through metal detectors. In 2019, Avsec started introducing advance imaging technology (AIT) body scanners. Body scanners emit low-intensity electromagnetic waves that do not penetrate human skin but are able to detect prohibited items worn or carried on a person, whether made of metal or not.

For cabin baggage screening, Avsec will be rolling out Computed Thermography, or CT scanners, to replace older x-ray technology. This enables three-dimensional imaging to help improve the detection of prohibited items and explosives. Internal baggage content can be examined on screen from a range of angles, and to higher resolution than previously. 

Improved ion scanning machines are also being acquired to help improve the ability to detect trace explosives.

Screening of checked-in (hold stow) baggage

Hold stow baggage screening currently includes a combination of x-ray screening and supporting explosive trace detection scanning.

As with Avsec’s cabin baggage technology upgrades, the x-ray scanners for hold stow baggage are being upgraded to CT scanners.

Smart lanes

Automated smart lanes are being progressively rolled out across New Zealand’s tier 1 airport’s domestic and international security checkpoints.

Smart lanes have a number of efficient features including automated tray return systems and the ability for several passengers to unload their items at once, helping speed up the queues.  Smart lanes will help improve security, help speed up passenger screening processes, and improve passenger experience. 

Screening of airport workers and cargo

We undertake screening of airport workers with access to, and within security enhanced and restricted areas at designated airports, as well as managing the National Airport Identity Card system.

We also screen air cargo and outbound international air post to help ensure the safety and security of passenger’s onboard planes this travels on.

Airport access, patrols and escort duties

We undertake patrols of airport perimeters and airport facilities at security-designated airports.  Patrols cover both landside and airside areas of airports (e.g., terminal buildings, check in counters, arrival and departures halls, lounges, security restricted areas, the tarmac, baggage handling areas and navigation facilities).

We also guard aircraft, perform aircraft searches and escort duties.

These activities help to ensure the prompt interception of persons unlawfully in security areas, and increase the safety and security of the flying public.

 Ask Avsec

If you have any questions about this topic, use our contact form, or email reception@avsec.govt.nz