International travelers departing from Auckland Airport will be able to leave electronics and liquids in their carry-on bags from January 22, thanks to the arrival of new computed tomography (CT) 3D baggage scanners.
The CT machines were introduced last year at New Zealand’s Wellington and Christchurch airports, with further installations expected for both international and domestic travelers.
In February 2023, Smiths Detection announced it had been awarded a contract to supply checkpoint CT units for New Zealand’s five major international airports; Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and Wellington.
While the new technology is focused on improving safety and security, it also enhances the passenger experience by allowing them to keep more items packed and removes the need for physical bag searches in most cases.
“With this new capability we can take items out of bags virtually on the screen, so there is no need for passengers to struggle with unpacking while standing at security screening,” said Karen Urwin, Group Operations Manager at New Zealand’s Aviation Security Service.
The volume of liquids, aerosols and gels carried by travelers on an international flight still applies, and should be carried in individual containers of 100ml or less. Passengers traveling with camera film, however, now need to pack their film in checked luggage as the CT scanning process can cause damage.
“We acknowledge this might present an inconvenience to those passengers, but security is our primary focus. The last thing we want is for someone’s wedding memories or holiday snaps to be destroyed going through screening, so please put your film in your checked luggage,” said Urwin.