Thursday, January 25, 2007
Loophole in NZ airline security.
A group of Sikh priests has exposed a gaping loophole in airport security after they boarded an Air New Zealand plane carrying ceremonial daggers under their robes. Nice way to shake up the other passengers before a bumpy flight.
The pilot confiscated the daggers after they managed to board the flight without having to pass through any form of security at Auckland's domestic terminal. It should be a requirement that all flights domestic and international require the passengers at least go through a metal detector. When you fly into Auckland you need to go through more security and screening when you arrive than when you leave because of bio security. Someone in the position of providing security for the airlines best close this loophole NOW.
The men, who are understood to be priests visiting from India, were walking on to the Napier-bound flight on Sunday when alarmed passengers noticed the daggers poking out from under their traditional dress.
They told the cabin crew, who alerted the pilot before the daggers were seized and locked in the cockpit for the flight.
An Air NZ spokeswoman said the men willingly handed over their kirpans and the flight ran as scheduled. She said any potential or real threats to safety were taken very seriously and a report had been submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority about what had happened.
Ministry of Transport safety and security group manager Bruce Johnson said policy for screening passengers applied only to planes with more than 90 seats as they were deemed the most at risk of hostage-takers. Well all planes are at risk in this day and age and all passengers need to be screened.
Mr Johnson said there were no plans to change or review the screening policy, despite what had happened. Mr Johnson needs to go....
Step up the security on NZ domestic flights and do it NOW. If the govt won't provide a fighter wing to protect NZ then are we going to have to send a Orion after a plane carrying less then 90 people if it is hijacked? NZ must take security seriously.
Posted by Rob Good at 10:34 AM