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September 1, 2012

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Stricter security checks in place at Shanghai airports

STARTING tomorrow, Shanghai's two airports are raising security checks to Level-2, or the same as those in place during World Expo 2010 and the Beijing Olympics, the airport authority said yesterday.

It gave no reason for the move but a spokesman for the Shanghai Airport Authority said the new measures would be temporary and would be in place for less than a month at the Pudong and Hongqiao international airports.

Level 2 checks means passengers will be asked to take off shoes and belts and more people will be asked to open carry-on bags for random checks.

A security official at the Hongqiao airport said that almost one in two passengers would be picked for more detailed random checks.

A security official at Pudong airport told Shanghai Daily last night: "Passengers are advised to come to airports earlier, at least two hours before takeoff to receive the checks that will take a longer time." He would not say why the stricter security measures were being introduced but implied that it might be for a major national event.

The airport authority said local passengers would be accustomed to higher level checks because they were in place for six months during the Shanghai Expo in 2010.

Airports in Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou began Level 2 security checks on Tuesday after an order from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Passengers were advised to take off rings and necklaces and take coins from their pockets because alarm systems had been adjusted to be more sensitive, said Ruan Zhouchang, an official at Hangzhou's Xiaoshan International Airport.

"It takes about three minutes for each passenger to receive the stricter checks," Ruan said.

There have been no crowds of passengers waiting at airports in Beijing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou since the higher safety check level was introduced, according to a China News Service report.

Airports on China's mainland normally have three levels of security checks. The lowest, Level 3, is used most of the time, while the strictest, Level 1, requires passengers and all their belongings to be checked twice by both X-ray machines and manually.


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