Dunedin adds security body scanners for domestic flights

Dunedin Airport is leading the country’s aviation security screening service for domestic passengers, after launching two new advanced imaging machines – commonly known as body scanners.

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."


1mm wave length - the same wave length as the kitchen microwave- interesting. For those who fly out of Sydney regularly- you may have noticed that they are hardly used nowadays- I asked one operator last month- he was coy - I made a comment about radiation - he just smiled. His smile says it all.

1) Microwave ovens have wavelength of about 12cm.
2) Millimeter wave scanners are weaker than ultraviolet. Unless you are scared of the sunlight this really shouldn't be a matter.

To further remove people's fear against the scanners, a mm wave scanner is not x-ray and it uses non-ionising electromagnetic wave. It means it does not harm you. He probably smiled at you because he just couldn't be bothered to argue back and ruin your day. I mean, if you are using a mobile phone you shouldn't even be scared of these things. Scatter Back scanners, however, do use what's known as the R wave and they are similar to x-ray and they do use very weak but still ionising radiations.



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