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New airport couches prevent hidden bombs

Nov 22nd, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

Rockopen MaintopRock open 1COUCHES made specially for Wellington airport’s new international terminal make it difficult for terrorists to hide explosives.

The modular couches were designed for comfort and beauty, but also to stop terrorists concealing bombs.

Although Wellington airport is considered a low threat for terrorism, New Zealand has international guidelines and regulations to follow, says GlennTurner from the aviation security explosive detection dog unit.

“If we want our planes to go overseas, then we have to comply with them” he says.

“The whole building has been designed to make it hard to hide things.”

The terminal had an open day on Sunday, with more than 10,000 people turning up to get a look inside the unusual copper-clad building.

The public had an opportunity to meet aviation security staff and their dogs.

Rock open2The explosive detection handlers and dogs demonstrated their skills, finding a planted non-lethal explosive in the terminal – in a chair rather than one of the couches.

Families were given access to the tarmac outside The Rock, they were able to look around an Air New Zealand plane, jump in a fire engine and see all the rescue vehicles up close.

Bands and dance troupes entertained, and children had their photo taken with Bundy the Jetstar koala, the police and security staff and dogs.

Aerobatic displays were cancelled because of poor weather.

The new terminal took five and half years to build and cost $60 million.

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