Swiss airports to introduce explosives detection check next week

26 August 2015 (Last Updated August 26th, 2015 18:30)

Airports in Switzerland will begin a new explosives detection check from next week.

Geneva airport

Airports in Switzerland will begin a new explosives detection check from next week.

Starting 1 September, the bomb check will become part of the standard procedure, done immediately after the passengers are subjected to metal detector screening.

The security measures are being introduced as per the directives of the European Union (EU).

Citing Zürich Airport, The Local reported that a computer will randomly select passengers for tests using explosives trace detection devices (ETDs),under the new safety measures.

The spot checks will include samples being taken from hands and the waist area of the passengers, and analysing them for chemicals.

The detector, which is devoid of a radioactive source, is said to be harmless and yields results within seconds..

The airport has acquired 36 new detectors at a cost of CHF2.6m ($2.8m) and is currently training around 900 staff to operate them.

The new body screening test will not substitute body searches, which will continue to happen, reported the ATS news agency.

Among other pointers, carry-on luggage will be subjected to extra controls, while the rules on prohibited and restricted items, as well as liquids in hand luggage remain the same.

Although the new detectors are fairly error-free, false alarms are not excluded. For instance, if a passenger touched fireworks just before his trip, it could set off a response from the detection device, the news agency reported.

The new explosives detection process will be implemented at Bern, Basel and Geneva airports.

Image: Aerial view of Geneva Airport. Photo: courtesy of Brücke-Osteuropa.