New security screening technology scheduled to land at Queenstown Airport

Advanced Imaging Technology body scanners at Dunedin Airport 01

From 21 February our security screening area at Queenstown Airport will look a little different.

Aviation Security Service (Avsec) is the organisation that runs security screening operations at all New Zealand Airports and they are introducing new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) Body Scanner devices across the country to increase aviation security and improve passenger experience.

The Body Scanners are used to detect potential ‘threat’ items worn or carried on your body and can identify both metallic items, such as knives, and non-metallic items such as powders. They will replace the 'wands' that Avsec officers use if a passenger sets off the walk through metal detector.  

We’ve answered some questions below about the Body Scanners. If there’s something we haven’t covered you can visit Avsec’s website for more information.

Are they safe to use?

The body scanners are safe to use as the radio waves are reflected off your skin and don’t penetrate your body. They are also at a low level and the short time you’re being scanned means you’re exposed to less energy than you’d get using a mobile phone.

Can I still carry my coffee through?

You will no longer be able to carry unsealed liquids, like takeaway coffees, through the security screening area. Give yourself time to finish your drinks before moving through security screening or wait until you are in the departure lounge before purchasing a beverage.  There is also a café and  in the departures area where you can purchase hot drinks. Liquids sealed in watertight containers like a thermos or drink bottle are fine to bring through.

Does it store my image?

The scanners used in New Zealand are equipped with special features to protect your privacy. No data or imaging is stored after your scan.

How does it work?

The technology in the body scanner compares your body to a body type algorithm to search for areas that may indicate a hidden weapon or contraband. At this stage the body scanner only operates on either a ‘female’ or ‘male’ setting. Therefore, Avsec Officers will select a gender setting prior to inviting you to enter the body scanner.

Queenstown Airport is a Pride Pledge Airport and we are committed to the safety and inclusion of our rainbow communities. Specifically, we are working on a number of steps with our airport partners at Avsec to support our gender diverse communities being treated with dignity, respect and understanding as the new technology is rolled out, including providing more information and FAQs to staff and passengers in advance.