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November 24, 2010

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Airports reduce number of flammable material checks

PASSENGERS and other people entering Shanghai's two airports will no longer be searched for flammable materials, after aviation authorities removed a layer of checks following the conclusion of the World Expo.

However, East China Civil Aviation Administration officials insist that security has not been downgraded as passengers will still be screened before boarding flights.

Authorities said they are trying to find a balance between the level of security during the Expo and the standard one, as passenger volume this year will reach a record high.

The city's two airports beefed up security in April, in anticipation of the Expo, which ended last month.

Security staff used treated paper to search for traces of flammable items or prohibited chemicals in passenger's bags at the entrances of the terminals. People accompanying travelers were also required to undergo the checks.

The whole process took about 30 seconds for each person.

The same method was used during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Passengers will continue to undergo checks before boarding flights.

Travelers to Guangzhou, where the Asian Games are taking place, may also go through tightened checks at city airports, officials said. Guangzhou airport has already adopted some security measures used during the Expo.

The airport authorities have tightened security checks twice in the past two years ahead of important events: for the Olympics Games and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Local airports have handled 60 million air travelers already this year, breaking the city record and surpassing the total of 57 million last year.

The Shanghai Airport Authority said the city's two international airports would see more than 72 million passengers over the whole year, a 26 percent increase on last year.


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