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China raises air security in heightened precaution

(People's Daily Online)

08:08, August 29, 2011

Civil aviation authorities, rarely, decided to raise security safeguards at Chinese airports to ratchet up airport and flight safety.

Like most developed countries, passengers are now required to remove shoes and belts during security checks and all their luggage and belongings will be opened during the process.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) didn't give any reason for the increased security and passengers hadn't been notified in advance, but there was speculation the move was related to the recent discovery of knives and other banned items at an airport in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regions in China's northwestern area.

Similar security measures were put in place during the 2008 Olympic Games which was held in Beijing and the World Expo in Shanghai last year.

Yesterday, the imposition of stricter checks has caused long queues at the Beijing Capital International Airport, and some passengers were engaged in arguments and even scuffles, as they lost patience to o wait longer to get through security checks.

"The longest journey in the world is from the security checkpoint to the boarding gate and the most painful thing in the world is that you finish the journey but the plane door has closed," The Shanghai Daily quoted one passenger as saying on his micro-blog. The man missed his flight and had to wait for the next one.

Photos posted online yesterday showed the airport crowded with passengers in scenes that were described as like a "busy and noisy railway station during the annual spring rush."

Passengers said it took them more than an hour to get through security and about half of them had their luggage opened and subjected to detailed inspections.

There were no problems in Shanghai, however, as more security channels were opened and the checks went smoothly, airport officials said.

They said the level of checks was raised according to the requirements of the civil aviation authority but "no passengers missed flights because of the checks."

Security staff will not demand that all luggage be checked in order to maintain passenger flow, they said. Normally passengers need to wait no more than 10 minutes before passing through the checks at Pudong International Airport and no more than 15 minutes at Hongqiao International Airport, the officials said.

However, airline companies are advising passengers to arrive at airports two to three hours ahead of their departure time rather than the previous one to two hours.

On August 3, security staff at Xinjiang's Urumqi airport found a knife hidden in a water bottle and another one in an umbrella a few days later. Around the same period, other banned items such as inflammable goods and electric shock devices were also seized from passengers, The Shanghai Daily reported on Monday.


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Leave your comment5 comments

  1. Name

Skepticist at 2011-08-30210.72.152.*
This has nothing to do with "like most developed countries". These sorts of measures are imposed anywhere every now and then when risks are considered higher than usual. Also makes it sound as if a country would need some sort of advanced developmental status to enforce such measures, which is entirely nonsensical.
Edmad at 2011-08-29218.186.8.*
In the name of 'safety first', that is the 'small price' all travelers must face. No thanks to those 'worst scums of this earth' who gave Islam a bad name.
edward wong at 2011-08-29124.205.175.*
most terrorists are backed by the usa, and nato. wouldnt it be nice if we could stop the source of the problem. i find it highly disturbing that the u.s. is doing terrorism in our country, and then we buy security equipment from them. sounds like the opium wars never ended
liu shun jing at 2011-08-29119.56.113.*
The world that might be. Terrorism will beset the world in the coming months unless we are aware of what form it will take. Biological weapons of mass destruction will be the most deadly. Virus like ebolah , marburg and marchupo can cause an apocalypse.
The world must focus on finding a vaccine for these virus. The other form of terrorism is destabilising region prone to earthquakes by placing explosives on fault lines, destruction of food crops,denying access to food transportation and lastly financial terrorism like the last crises we went through. Countries must learn to stockpile food and other necessities. International organisation should help poorer countries to do so. Being prepared is the most important and prudent management should be the criteria. The world must get together to focus on this. Let us hope we can be the first to take the lead.
oon at 2011-08-29120.166.45.*
I agree with this rule, which does not give a chance to the terrorists to move freely, must be eradicated, if there are passengers who objected then we should be suspicious to this passenger.

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