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The scanners are part of stage one of the airport's terminal expansion project which opened today.
The new expanded security screening area includes smart lane X-ray equipment for screening baggage and is part of a $100 million Aviation Security Service project to bring world-leading security technology to all of New Zealand’s international airports by mid-2020.
The technology was first installed at Auckland Airport’s international terminal in June, but passengers on a jet flight from Dunedin to Auckland were the first domestic passengers to go through the modern security screening system.
The body scanning technology uses millimetre-wave (mmW) technology to provide an automatic, electronic means of detecting concealed objects, ensuring New Zealand is meeting the challenges of today’s changing threat environment.
Dunedin Airport chief executive Richard Roberts said today’s opening marked the completion of stage one of the airport’s ambitious terminal expansion project which aimed to meet growing demands.
Since the present terminal was built in 2006, passenger numbers had increased significantly to more than one million passengers per year (a growth of 47%) and a 46% rise in the number of jets into the airport – now close to 1750.
In peak hours, passenger numbers exceeded 500 – a 71% rise from 2006 – which placed pressure on the space available in the terminal, he said.
The new security area and temporary departure lounge has increased the floor area by 157%, and will also reduce passenger queues and create a dedicated space for passenger screening at the increasingly busy airport.
"We’re delighted to welcome passengers into our expanded security screening area, which we are confident will reduce waiting time and make for a more pleasurable experience for passengers going through security screening.
"It’s also exciting that we’re the first airport to offer the new [body scanning] technology for our domestic flights – a technology well used overseas – which puts Dunedin at the forefront of aviation security in this country.”
Stage two of the development will see the temporary departure lounge expanded, with glass windows looking out on to the tarmac, he said.
"Once completed in February 2020, the new terminal will see an almost 200% increase in floor space to the departure area – with new toilets, cafe, and retail spaces – as well as 200 additional parks in the car parking area."