Airports to scan for liquid explosives
Updated: 2006-12-12 16:09
An engineer tests a newly developed
machine to spot liquid explosives during a news conference in Beijing
December 12, 2006. China will introduce special machines at its 147 civil
airports to spot liquid explosives, a senior Chinese official said on
Tuesday, vowing to protect travellers during the 2008 Olympics from terror
China will introduce special machines
at its 147 civil airports to spot liquid explosives, a senior Chinese official
said on Tuesday, vowing to protect travellers during the 2008 Olympics from
The newly developed machines, described by its Chinese
maker NUCTECH as the world's most sophisticated, will be installed gradually
nationwide, said Yang Chengfeng, head of the General Administration of Civil
Aviation of China's security division.
China banned passengers from
taking almost all liquids on flights in hand baggage following a crash in May
2002 off the northern city of Dalian, which killed 112 people and was blamed on
a passenger setting fire to gasoline carried in soft drink cans.
want to guarantee passenger safety, you have to make an investment. We have to
protect against liquid explosives," Yang said on the sidelines of a news
conference to unveil the new machines, already on trial at a few Chinese
"I'm preparing to install these machines at all of China's
civil airports," he said, without providing a timeframe.
to give an investment figure, but the scanners are sold at $200,000 a unit on
the international market, NUCTECH executives said.
The European Union
and United States earlier this year introduced strict controls on what liquids
could be carried onboard after British police said they had foiled a plot in the
summer to blow up aircraft using liquid explosives.
Yang added that
China had not discovered any specific terror threats to its airlines or
airports, but this did not mean the threat was not real.
has people who are dissatisfied with society, though we've never had anything
like September 11," he said.
China did see a rash of hijackings in
the early 1990s, mostly by people demanding to go to Taiwan island and air
safety was tightened.
China adopted additional security measures after
the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, including putting air
marshals on flights.
Yang promised safe travel for passengers during the
2008 Beijing Olympic Games, saying the civil aviation authority was looking at
enacting new security measures, such as having separate security channels for
Even with the new scanners, he said the ban on most types of
liquids being taken on board in hand luggage would remain.
confidence that the Olympics will be safe," Yang said.
"We had 48 heads
of state come through Beijing airport during the China-Africa Summit," he added.
"I think this was a rehearsal for the Olympics."
Yang said he was
certain that China's airport security was as good as any in the world, including
in those countries reguarly threaten by terror attacks.
"Israel has very
strict security and so do we. Many other countries are not as good as we are."
|Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours