Airport changes mean better biosecurity

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Layout changes and new x-ray equipment at Auckland Airport will benefit biosecurity, says the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The new layout, which opened late last week, provides increased space and improved flow for biosecurity checks.

“The changes allow us to deploy additional staff and give us greater flexibility to manage customer flows,” says Craig Hughes, MPI’s Northern Border Clearance Manager, Passengers and Mail. 

“Low-risk passengers will spend less time in queues, enabling us to focus more on high-risk passengers – a major objective of MPI’s risk-management approach.

“One of the changes will be the introduction of a large green door to provide more visible access to our green lanes, which allow speedier exit for approved New Zealand and Australian passport holders.”   

He says further efficiencies will be achieved by MPI and NZ Customs staff working together at a shared search area and the introduction of a shared counter for collecting biosecurity fines and customs duties.

The layout changes also provide more space for the operation of biosecurity detector dogs and have allowed MPI to install two new replacement x-ray machines for detecting biosecurity goods.

“The new machines are more reliable than the previous units and will provide improved image quality and functionality. This means border staff will be better equipped to spot biosecurity risk items before they enter New Zealand,” says Hughes.

In the last year MPI has now installed 14 new x-ray machines in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown airports, and the Auckland International Mail Centre.

Hughes thanked Auckland Airport for financing the layout changes, saying he was “impressed by the company’s commitment to the project and to biosecurity”.

“The work is a good example of an airport and border agencies working closely together to improve biosecurity and the customer experience.”

Judy Nicholl, Auckland Airport’s general manager of aeronautical operations, says, “The new biosecurity layout and passenger processing system will improve the experience for those arriving at Auckland Airport from overseas.”

“We congratulate the Ministry for Primary Industries on their ongoing commitment to improve what is one of the very first experiences that international tourists have when they arrive in New Zealand.”

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