As security is broadly stepped up due to terrorism fears in advance of the G20 Summit, passengers at Shanghai’s two airports will now be checked for explosive residue and have their luggage X-rayed at the entrances of terminal buildings, the Shanghai Airport Authority said. “The anti-terrorism checks have been launched at the airports according to China’s Anti-terrorism Law,” the authority said, adding that the new security measures will be permanent. Passengers will also be subjected to an explosives check that involves security staff swabbing each bag with a piece of paper that is then analyzed by a machine before they are allowed to enter the building.
Some passengers will be asked to open their luggage for a manual inspection if the X-ray shows anything suspicious. “The additional security check mainly targets banned knives and guns as well as flammable and explosive materials,” said Xia Gongwei, Security Check Manager at Pudong airport.
Staff at security checkpoint No.26 at Pudong airport’s T2 building confiscated flammable items including lighters, helium balloons and hair gel. “I was asked to abandon my hair gel, but I can fully understand because I feel safer with the additional security checks,” Zhu Jiahua, a traveler from Xiamen in southeast Fujian Province, said.
The new security check slowed me down, but I think it’s necessary for safety as terrorism has become an international concern,” said Duncan Granshaw, a frequent business traveler from New Zealand. Twenty-seven checkpoints have been set up at gates and entrances at the two terminal buildings at Pudong airport.
At Hongqiao airport, 14 checkpoints have been set up at its two terminal buildings.
It only takes about five minutes to finish the additional inspection, but there were queues stretching to about 10 meters at some entrances. During peak hours, passengers might have to wait longer for the additional checks, Xia said.
“Passengers are reminded not to bring these prohibited objects to the airport,” the airport authority said. It also advised passengers to arrive at least 30 minutes earlier to give themselves enough time to get through security.