Published date: 19 January 2024

International travellers departing from Christchurch and Wellington Airports over summer may have noticed an easier security screening experience with new Computed Tomography (CT) scanning machines enabling laptops and liquids to be left in carry-on bags.

From Monday 22 January, international travellers flying out of Auckland can expect the same new experience. 

The new technology significantly improves NZ Aviation Security Service’s ability to operate, with the CT scanners creating high quality 3D images in real-time that allow aviation security officers to better assess the contents of bags.

While the new technology is focused on fostering safety and security, it also enhances the passenger experience by streamlining screening for passengers who can now leave electronics (such as laptops and tablets) and liquids, aerosols and gels in their bags and removes the need for physical bag searches in most cases.

“With this new capability we can take items out of bags virtually on the screen, so there is no need for passengers to struggle with unpacking while standing at security screening,” said Group Operations Manager Karen Urwin.

The volume of liquids, aerosols and gels, carried by travellers on an international flight still applies, and should be carried in individual containers of 100ml or less, with the total number of containers that are 100ml or less must not exceed one volumetric litre. More information about these restrictions is on our website.

Passengers travelling with camera film, however, now need to pack their film in checked luggage as the CT scanning process can cause damage.

“We acknowledge this might present an inconvenience to those passengers, but security is our primary focus. The last thing we want is for someone’s wedding memories or holiday snaps to be destroyed going through screening, so please put your film in your checked luggage,” said Urwin. 

The CT scanning capability is being installed at all passenger screening points across the country. The changes to the screening experience will follow at remaining international screening points over the coming months and is planned for domestic screening points later this year.


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