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.


Tonyc said...

There's this feeling that in this country they love the word "hindsight." Not even quite like a nail needing a hammer to hit it with all the time, a major catastrophe is always needed before anything is done. In this instance, where on earth is what's called "common sense?" Looks as if the alert passengers were more looking after the welfare of the airline than the other way around. That guy should be shown the door. (Or, if it's the Australasian corporate mentality creeping in, find out whose orders he cannot disobey, and get THAT dude's head!)

Rob Good said...

I can understand if the Indian folk thought they were allowed to wear the weapons, but the fact that there is no one checking for these indescretions before the passengers board the plane is what is the major problem.

Rymann said...

Yeah well nice to some restraint by all involved. If this happened in the US the headlines would be 120 people cheat death by knife wielding darkies and there would be retarded interviews with Dave Billhilly from Goatrape Tennessee saying how the lord jesus personally stepped in and saved the day.Then the lawsuits would follow... (In case you didnt notice I'm kinda pissed with yanks today, had an argument with a 300 pound woman who was trying to park her Chevy Suburban into a compact space. I likened it to Jabba The Hut trying to wear Juicy Couture sweatpants. This of course completely lost on her. Dim cow.

Rob Good said...

When do you start the script for the new comedy series Ry? LOLOLOL

Rymann said...

Perhaps there really was a sinister plot. Right now we could all be watching on TV a big hole in the ground where the Napier 4 Square used to be.

Andrew said...

Best we don't follow the America panic-model for airport security. On my last US domestic flight I had my water bottle taken away before boarding. And I had bought that water bottle at the airport a few metres away from the security checkpoint!!! Every few minutes a message is played over the PA saying, "The Department for Homeland Security has raised the terror alert to Orange!" I think this message has been playing every five minutes for five years.

The knife-weilding turban-wearers should have had the brains to inform the airline that they were armed.