19 Nov 2015

Govt to look at boosting airport security

5:53 pm on 19 November 2015

New airport security measures will likely see domestic luggage, including check-in, being screened from early next year.

Air New Zealand plane taking off from Wellington Airport.

Check-in baggage on domestic flights is not currently screened. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said a review into domestic aviation security was launched last year after Prime Minister John Key raised the threat level for terrorism in the country from very low to low.

He said he did not want to give exact details - in part because they had not been confirmed - or talk about particular vulnerabilities.

"Look, I think it would be a wide-ranging review. It would look at everything from cabin, through to the baggage, the cargo, the catering, you know obviously the ground crew and the like and I think change is likely."

He said check-in baggage on domestic flights was not screened at the moment, but declined to say whether that would be a change.

"Look, I don't want to get through into specifics but I think as I indicated we're looking at everything here from the cabin crew, the ground crew, but also the baggage at the cargo."

National MP, Simon Bridges.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Mr Bridges said he did not think security at smaller, regional airports had been lax.

"I think it's been appropriate and proportionate for where we've been but what is true is the risk level has elevated somewhat [at the] end of last year.

"We're not aware of specific threats or risks in relation to New Zealand... But we're only humans and what we do know is what happened in Egypt and also the great set of tragedies in Paris at the moment.

"We need to work our way through these but I think changes in relation to our aviation security are likely at the start of next year."

Mr Key said the proposals were recently presented to Cabinet but had not yet been signed off.

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