Lithuanian airports tightened passenger screening procedures

As of 1 September Lithuanian airports – Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga – tightened aviation passenger screening procedures: some passengers are additionally screened for potential contact with explosives. Such additional screening practice was established by the European Union regulations, therefore the procedure has been introduced in all EU airports.

Microscopic samples are taken from certain body parts of a person using a special device, which analyses in seconds whether the skin has recently had any contact with any prohibited chemical substances. The device does not emit radiation and does not affect the skin, thus the additional screening should not cause any inconvenience to passengers. Dedicated computer equipment randomly selects people for the screening.

“One of the main tasks of Lithuanian airports is to ensure the safety of passengers. We have already started the widespread use of explosives detection equipment from March, when the EU requirement to check passengers’ hand luggage against the threat of explosives had come into force. And now we started checking the passengers”, said Linas Saukaitis, the Head of Safety and Security Service at Lithuanian Airports.

For several years Lithuanian airports have been using more than 15 special explosives detection devices. One such device costs over 30 thousand euro. More than 250 aviation security employees are trained to work with this equipment in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga.

Globally, aviation security requirements are constantly updated taking into account problems encountered in various situations. The new procedure did not result in changing other aviation security screening processes – the list of items prohibited to carry remained the same and, where appropriate, the manual checks of passengers will continue to apply.

It is prohibited to bring firearms, non-firearm, thrusting and cutting weapons, sharp objects, blunt instruments explosives and flammable materials, chemical and toxic substances, large quantities of liquids and similar items to airport’s restricted area and the cabin of an aircraft. More detailed lists are published in airport departure terminals and on websites.

Security staff can refuse to allow a person having an item suspicious to them not included in the list of prohibited items into the restricted area and the aircraft passenger cabin.