Guernsey Airport has commenced preparatory work related to the installation of the first of two hold baggage system (HBS) scanners.

These will be operated by the States Trading Supervisory Board through Guernsey Ports.

The latest move comes ahead of the planned arrival of the machines early this year.

The scanners process passengers’ hold baggage from the check-in desk to its loading onto the aircraft.

As part of the upgrade, Guernsey Ports is investing up to £12m in HBS systems. In the project’s first phase, existing X-ray scanners will be replaced with the latest 3D technology.

Guernsey Ports Passenger Operations and Aviation Security head Steve Langlois said: “We’re pleased to see this level of investment being made into a critical part of airport infrastructure. As technology and standards improve, we want to ensure Guernsey’s ports are equipped with the latest and most resilient technology.

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“Passengers may notice construction work taking place within the airport in the coming weeks. We would like to apologise for any disruption caused by the project.”

Regulators have urged Guernsey Airport to continue random hand-searches of hold baggage until the new system is installed.

Langlois further added: “We are asking travellers who plan to check-in any hold baggage items to allow increased time at the airport in the event that their luggage is randomly selected.”

The temporary measures are expected to be in place until the commissioning of the first scanners later this year.

Passengers travelling with hand baggage only will not be subject to the measures.