Is New Zealand setting new standards for airport security?
The tiny South Pacific British colony of New Zealand (2,000 km south-east of Tasmania), appears to be establishing a reputation as the world leader in the battle against Air-Terror. A chum of mine, who operates Airbus A-340 Marvel-Jets to Auckland, NZ, USA and Europe from a largish South American nation (let's just call him Capitano "Pedro") reports that Auckland is the only port in his network that confiscates and tests pilots personal tubes of toothpaste and shaving cream. Capt. Pedro, a normally calm and most pleasant gentleman of the old school, is somewhat bemused as to why the NZ airport security service believe that a 22,000 hour pilot may be plotting to down his own aircraft with toothpaste. This reporter intends to put the question to the NZ Director of Civil Aviation as there must be a quite sensible reason for this ultra-cautious regime now in place in this peaceful aviation backwater. One must ask whether this may be a trend-setting programme which will spread world-wide to further harass aircrew who are already under increasing pressure to reduce their emissions. BALPA please note. dakota67 will report further when the NZ Director of CAA responds. In the interim, pilots flying to Auckland International are advised to clear their toilet bags of all encapsulated personal hygiene aids. Small tubes of toothpaste will now be made available at the duty-free outlets.