Information for Travellers

 avsec travellers

Domestic Travellers

See what you can and can’t take on the plane in your carry-on baggage here.

(You can read the official Notice of Direction from the Director of Civil Aviation here).

Read our answers to frequently asked questions about going through airport security points.

International Travellers

See what you can and can’t take on the plane in your carry-on baggage here.

Read our answers to frequently asked questions about going through airport security points.

Travellers on all international flights leaving New Zealand are also subject to security measures regarding the carriage of liquids, aerosols and gels taken on board aircraft in carry-on baggage.

CCTV Privacy Notice

Avsec has CCTV monitoring and recording capabilities at security-designated airports where its operations are conducted. The CCTV cameras are primarily located at passenger screening points, including passenger bag-search areas for carry-on baggage and checked-in international baggage. At some airports they are also located at Avsec reception areas.

Signage advising of CCTV equipment will give notice of areas covered by such equipment.

View the privacy notice here.

Useful links

Winging it at the Airport - NZ Sign Language video about what to expect at an airport and during security screening

Got baggage? - Fair Go's video on how to breeze through security 

What to do before you go
New Zealand Customs Service
Ministry for Primary Industries

Frequently Asked Questions

I am bringing my baby / toddler through in a carrycot / car seat / pushchair, what happens?

We will ask you to remove your child from the mode of transport and we will put your carrycot or car seat through the x-ray.  In the case of a pram / pushchair, we will push it around the side of the Walk Through Metal Detector and physically search it.  The child will either walk or be carried by you through the WTMD.

I have a back brace / corset on, am I going to set the metal detector off?

Yes you will.  Just explain to the officer that that you are wearing a back brace or a corset and they will ask you to step inside our search room (this ensures privacy for you) so that they can visibly sight the brace.  Once the officer has sighted the brace / corset, you will be hand wanded.  (We ensure that all females are attended by female officers and males by male officers in order to minimise any embarrassment.)  Having a signed doctor's note will assist you.

Why does my video / camera / laptop computer have to go through the X-ray?

Aviation Security prides itself on ensuring you get to start your holiday peacefully.  When we ask you to put your electronic equipment through the x-ray for inspection purposes, it is because we cannot physically see behind a laptop computer, video or camera without becoming technicians and carrying screwdrivers to dismantle your electronic equipment.

The easiest way for us to examine these items, is to have them removed from your hand baggage and put them on the conveyer belt for screening by x-ray.  We have been trained to recognise any thing unusual.  We have had specialists test the safety of the x-ray on most brands of equipment and we can assure the safety of your valuable items.

Cameras - Generally the x-ray process will have no effect on photographic film.  However, we have learnt putting over 1600 asa film through the x-ray machine might cause slight imperfections in the film.  Since most holidaymakers will use 100, 200 or 400 asa film, this is generally not an issue and this film can be sent through the x-ray with no fear of damage. However, we will allow professional photographers to have their film and cameras hand searched, providing they are willing to remove the film.  We need to do this so that we can check the camera and lens and satisfy ourselves there is nothing untoward contained within the camera itself.

Computers - X-rays will not affect personal computers; therefore your laptop is completely safe while under examination.  If you are concerned, you are welcome to start your computer up in front of an Aviation Security Officer once it has been processed in order to satisfy yourself that it has not been affected.  Just as a warning, please do not think you are saving your data by putting it on a floppy disc or CD and carrying it through the Walk Thru Metal Detector.  There is a greater risk of the information being wiped from a disk by passing through the WTMD, as this is a magnetic field.  The same information applies to computer games.

Video Cameras - These present no problem as the x-ray does not interfere with either the camera's electronics or the video tapes in any way. However, as with the computer information on disk, please be aware that the Walk Thru Metal Detector is a magnetic field and could wipe any information on a videotape passing through with you.

Should you experience a problem with your equipment once it has passed through the screening process, in the first instance please contact the Regional Manager of the airport from where you departed.

What if a family member is in an airline provided wheelchair?

We will ascertain from the attending person if the wheelchair occupant is able to walk through the Walk Through Metal Detector unassisted.  If they can then, we will ask that they do this while we push the wheelchair around the side of the WTMD and visually check it.  If not, we will apply the confined to a wheelchair process.

I have been told not to put my homeopathic drugs through the x-ray screen.

We will ask you to hand these to us while you proceed through the Walk Through Metal Detector.  We will hand check them and pass them back to you. We do this in order to make sure that your medicine is not exposed to the magnetic field. Please refer to the information relating to Liquids, Aerosols & Gels.

I have a Pacemaker; will it be affected if I go through the Walk Thru Metal Detector (WTMD)?

Doctors assure us that the WTMD will not affect Pacemakers.  They will not guarantee this 100% however, so we ask that you have a doctor's note indicating that you have a pacemaker.  Please produce this at the time of screening when travelling overseas.  We will ask that you go around the side of the WTMD and we will put a hand held metal detector (known as a wand) over you.

I have a pin and/or plate in my body; will this affect the metal detector?

Normally plates and pins do not set off the metal detector, but if it does, we will ask you to step inside our search room (this ensures privacy for you) in order that an officer can visibly sight the scarring and hand wand you. Having a signed doctor's note will assist you.

Why do we have to empty our pockets prior to walking through the metal detector (magnetometer)?

We ask that you do this for three reasons 

  1. Our machines are extremely sensitive to metal and if we can eliminate items that passengers are carrying in their pockets, most passengers should walk through without having to be checked with a hand held metal detector.
  2. If the alarms are activated, there will be less for you to have to show the officer who screens you.
  3. This will help process you more quickly and you will be able to begin your holiday hassle free.

I am confined to a wheelchair, how do I get screened?

We will ask you to go around the side of the Walk Through Metal Detector, because your chair will activate the detector.  We will request your permission to physically touch your back.  This is because if we screen you with a hand held metal detector around the back area, the HHMD would pick up the metal of the chair.  We will also ask if we need to physically touch your legs etc.  We will visually check your chair and try to cause as little disruption to you as possible.  (We ensure that all females are attended by female officers and males by male officers in order to minimise any embarrassment.)

Where do I pick up my duty free goods?

Once you have completed check-in with the airline, and processed through Emigration, put your hand baggage through the X-ray machine and have yourself cleared through the Walk Through Metal Detector, you may proceed to the Duty Free Store in the departure lounge.  You may purchase further duty free goods and pick up your pre-ordered purchases.

I have x-ray film and do not want to put it through your x-ray machine as it might damage the film.

Since the film has already been exposed and processed, our X-ray machine cannot harm it. It can safely pass through the screening process.