Wu Na, the leader of the No. 1 security team at the Hongqiao International Airport, checks carry-on bags on an X-ray machine. (Ti Gong)
The Hongqiao International Airport has deployed robots and streamlined the security process to ensure passengers get through faster during the ongoing Spring Festival travel period.
The robots have been put up at the security counters and remind passengers to leave behind all forbidden items from their carry-on luggage. Each of them has a tray to collect lighters and other banned items.
"An increasing number of passengers, especially seniors or those flying for the first time, tend to carry banned items like homemade sauces, tools and even raw eggs in their carry-on luggage," said Wu Na, a team leader of the No.1 security check team at the Hongqiao International Airport. Many of the items are festive gifts, Wu said.
They can either go back to the airlines' counter and put them into the check-in baggage or deposit it at the airport for 30 days without charge, she said.
There are also passengers who forget or lose their identity cards. Wu said the airport police has opened a counter that issues temporary ID cards to these passengers.
Passengers are advised to spare longer time for security check during the travel period.
Under the optimized security check process, six personnel are assigned to every security channel, Wu said. Passengers are checked for their identity cards or passports, bags screened in X-ray machines and a full body check with handheld scanner.
Airlines have begun sharing real-time passengers' number with the airport authority so that more security channels are opened and more personnel are assigned.
There are about 250 security personnel working at the 40 security channels at the Hongqiao airport. They work in two shifts — from 5am to noon and from noon to midnight.
Passengers have to wait for about 15 minutes to get through the security checks.
Hongqiao is expected to handle 4.4 million passengers during the Spring Festival travel period. About 738 flights take off and land at the airport every day, carrying 111,500 passengers.