New Zealand’s Dunedin International Airport has installed two advanced imaging machines, known as body scanners, to strengthen security for domestic passengers.

The new body scanners and smart lane X-ray equipment for baggage screening are part of an NZ$100m Aviation Security Service Project.

It aims to provide improved security facilities for all international airports in New Zealand over the next year and a half.

The technology was first installed in June at Auckland Airport’s international terminal. Meanwhile, travellers on a flight from Dunedin to Auckland were the first domestic passengers to be scanned through the modern security screening system.

Leveraging millimetre-wave technology, the body scanner provides an automatic, electronic method of detecting concealed objects.

Dunedin Airport chief executive Richard Roberts told Allied Press that today’s opening marked the completion of stage one of the airport’s ambitious terminal expansion project, which aimed to meet its growing demands.

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Roberts said: “We’re delighted to welcome passengers into our expanded security screening area, which we are confident will reduce waiting time and make for a more pleasurable experience for passengers going through security screening.

“It’s also exciting that we’re the first airport to offer the new body scanning technology for our domestic flights, a technology well used overseas, which puts Dunedin at the forefront of aviation security in this country.”

The existing terminal was constructed in 2006. Since then, passenger inflow has increased significantly to more than one million passengers per annum.

The new security area and temporary departure lounge have increased the floor area by 157%. It will decrease passenger queues and create a dedicated space for screening at the airport.

Under the second stage of the development, the temporary departure lounge will be expanded and equipped with glass windows.

Roberts concluded: “Once completed in February 2020, the new terminal will see an almost 200% increase in floor space to the departure area – with new toilets, cafe, and retail spaces, as well as 200 additional parks in the car parking area.”