Test paper used for extra security checks at airports

2008-07-18 05:42:14 GMT       2008-07-18 13:42:14 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, July 18 -- Security staff at Shanghai's two airports will use a special test paper to detect whether people entering terminals have any explosives, flammable items or chemical substances in their bags starting on Sunday.

Security officials will put the US-imported test papers on people or their luggage, which can tell immediately whether they have recently touched any of these prohibited items, the Shanghai Airport Authority said at a meeting this morning.

All entrances to the terminal buildings at Shanghai airports will be subject to the new security checks from July 20, as ordered by the national civil aviation authority in a move to upgrade air security for the Beijing Olympics.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement on July 7 that "passengers entering airports with explosives or flammable articles will be subject to severe punishment in accordance with current laws and regulations."

Airports in 18 cities and regions - Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Tianjin, Shenyang, Qinhuangdao, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Jinan, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Hefei, Changchun, Harbin, Hohhot, Dalian, Xinjiang and Tibet - are required to implement the new security measure.

But the new security check raised concerns that it will cause bottlenecks at airports as they already struggle to smooth passenger flows after stepping-up security measures.

Shanghai's aviation administration advised at Monday's meeting that passengers, especially those fly out of the city's smaller Hongqiao Airport, better arrive at least one hour earlier than before because of the new security checks.

People dropping off or picking up passengers were advised to cancel such plans if possible.

Liquids and gels were banned on domestic flights in March. In May, passengers were restricted to taking only one piece of carry-on luggage.

An official with the Shanghai Air Traffic Bureau, the regional civil aviation authority in East China, said in previous reports that the security checks at the entrances of airport buildings would focus on spotting explosives and flammable items and "would be different from the regular flight boarding checks."

(Source: Shanghai Daily)

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