The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in New Zealand has announced that Auckland Airport will trial a new biosecurity x-ray machine in summer 2018, targeting hand luggage carried by international air passengers. The machine has the potential to improve security and passenger flow at the airport.
Brett Hickman, manager detection technology, MPI, said, “This is an area that has the highest risk of bringing fruit fly into the country. Our stats show nearly 90% of seizures of fruit fly host materials are from hand baggage.
“The machine produces very high quality images. It also provides a side and a top view of baggage instead of just a single view.
Hickman added that x-ray screening of baggage plays an important role in preventing unwanted pests and diseases from entering New Zealand. “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.