[14 November/New Zealand Herald]

A new biosecurity X-ray machine targeting hand luggage carried by international passengers will be trialled at Auckland Airport this summer. The Ministry for Primary Industries said the new machine could potentially improve biosecurity and passenger flow at the airport. MPI Detection Technology Manager Brett Hickman noted smaller hand luggage has the highest risk of bringing fruit fly into New Zealand, with MPI figures showing almost 90 percent of seizures of fruit fly host materials are from hand baggage. MPI biosecurity staff have begun directing passengers to the new unit during arrival peak times, shortening passenger wait times. The machine is the MPI’s most technically advanced X-ray unit, producing high-quality images and a side and top view of baggage instead of a traditional single view.