Fly smart this summer

22 Dec 2016

New Zealand’s Aviation Security Service (Avsec) General Manager Mark Wheeler is encouraging air travellers to pack smart this summer.

Avsec is the agency responsible for security screening travellers, aircrew, and airport workers in New Zealand.


“This will be our busiest ever summer. I’m asking travellers to help themselves and each other, to make everyone’s airport experience as smooth as possible this holiday season,” says Mr Wheeler.

 “Over the next few weeks, through to the end of February, airports will be busier than normal, due to the impact of both the holiday period and a 10% increase in tourist numbers, so we encourage travellers to factor in extra time to get through security.

“Arriving at the airport a little earlier will make your pre-travel processing much easier, and allow you to start your holiday in a relaxed state of mind.

“Aviation is the safest mode of transportation in the world, and passengers have played an important role by working with our security staff and following civil aviation rules.

“Batteries and power packs are one of the biggest problems in checked bags, however they may be ok in your carry-on bags. Remember to check the web site for your airline.  They have very good information on these items if you have any queries.”

“As aviation's security specialists, we are proud to help usher you safely and securely on your travels.”

Delays at the screening point are often because people are not prepared for what is required. You can breeze through security screening more easily if you follow these guidelines:

  • Pack safe and leave hazardous materials at home. From lithium batteries to e-cigarettes, many items can be dangerous when transported by air. Vibrations, static electricity, and temperature and pressure variations can cause hazardous materials to leak, generate toxic fumes, start a fire, or even explode. Check with your airline, or if still in doubt, leave it out.
  • If flying overseas, pack your liquids, aerosols, or gels which are in containers larger than 100mL/100g in your check-in luggage. You can carry on the plane any liquids, aerosols, or gels in containers smaller than 100mL/100g and these must be packed in a plastic zip-lock bag and presented separately to the security staff when you go through screening.
  • Aviation Security Service staff may open your ‘checked in bag’ if there is something in the bag that cannot be cleared during screening. If you want to lock your luggage, we recommend you use a ‘TSA Recognised’ lock. Our security officers have the ability to safely open approved bags without damaging them. After a search the bag can be relocked. NZ retailers and airports sell these locks and a lot of modern-day luggage have these locks incorporated within them already. Look for the Travel Sentry or Safe Skies logo on the side. You can also get bags and trolley cases with a TSA Recognised lock built in. See
  • Be prepared to remove your laptop or other large electronic devices from your carry on bag at security screening.
  • You may take Christmas crackers in both carry-on and checked-in luggage in unlimited quantities, only if they are in their original retail packaging (inside a box and/or their individual cardboard casing). However you cannot fly with cracker “snaps” (the type you may find in a “home-made/do-it-yourself” kit) in either your checked-in or carry-on luggage.
  • Leave your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone at home. You are prohibited from transporting this recalled device on your person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage on flights to, from, or within New Zealand. Check with your airline if uncertain.
  • If you have spare batteries, pack them in your carry-on baggage, and not your check-in baggage, and use a few measures to keep them from short circuiting: keep the batteries in their original packaging, tape over the electrical connections with any adhesive, non-metallic tape, or place each battery in its own individual plastic bag. You cannot fly with damaged or recalled batteries.

Fly smart this holiday season and remember to visit your airline’s website.


Did you know?

  • In the year ending 30 June 2016, Avsec seized:

31249 prohibited lighters/matches /fire starters               

28002 prohibited knives/scissors with blades of more than 6cm

7663 box cutters/razor blades

5755 prohibited aerosols

2886 prohibited batteries

1420 items of ammunition.