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Airline passengers to be checked for explosives with new detector

The airports of Helsinki-Vantaa and Oulu have been using a new type of explosives detector since the beginning of September. Random passengers will be checked for explosives simply by brushing their clothes with the device.

Räjähdysainejäämäilmaisin.
The new bomb-detector is comes in the form of a plastic tab that can easily be used on passengers and luggage. Image: Finavia

The security checks at the airports of Helsinki-Vantaa and Oulu have utilised a new type of device to check for explosives. The manufacturer of the new tool claims that it can detect all types of explosives and materials used to construct them.

The detector is described as being quicker and more pleasant for passengers undergoing a security check, as the device is simply brushed against the person's clothing, eliminating the need to pat down each passenger manually. The same device is also used on luggage.

Risk management director Juha-Pekka Pystynen from Finavia says that the new instrument has yet to detect any bomb-carriers. The ongoing hunting season has also not affected the device's detections.

Pystynen says that the explosive detector is a reliable instrument that has not experienced any errors, saying that false alarms and other malfunctions are extremely rare.

In Finland the detector will come into wider use in 2017. Behind the initiative is an EU Commission decree on airport security checks. Globally the device is in use in many major international airports.

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