China steps up security checks for US-bound flights

Monday, January 4, 2010, 14:48 by Jose Philip

China has stepped up security checks for the United States-bound flights after the incident in which a Nigerian man attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight en route to Detroit in the United States from Amsterdam in the Netherlands on Christmas Day.

The Chinese authorities have made mandatory a secondary security check at airport’s boarding gates for all flights bound for the United States

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has ordered that passengers are to report at airports earlier. Also, the passengers are not permitted to take any kind of liquid in their carry-on baggage.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China ordered these extra security procedures, to be conducted before the passengers’ final boarding, in response to an emergency request by the United States Department of Homeland Security asking for additional security checks for all United States-bound flights as well as for US-based carriers.

However, the security checks for flights to destinations other than the United States stay unchanged, an official of Shanghai Airport Authority said.

The Shanghai Airport Authority operates 2 international airports in Shanghai city – the Shanghai Pudong International Airport and the Hongqiao Airport.

China Eastern Airlines, headquartered in Shanghai, China, said in a statement that the airline has disallowed passengers from carrying with them any type of liquid on flights to the United States. The airline is also conducting secondary security checks of luggage at the airport boarding gates.

However, those passengers on international routes other than to the United States are allowed to take with them liquid containers of less than 100 millilitres in their carry-on baggage.

China Eastern Airlines is the only domestic airline that operates direct flights between Shanghai and destinations in the United States.

An official of the Shanghai Airport Authority said the enhanced security checks have not caused congestion at international airports in China and that there has been no reduction in the number of flights to the United States.

Similar security steps, the Shanghai Airport Authority official added, have been introduced at the Beijing Capital International Airport and the Guangzhou Baiyun Airport. At these, airports, the passengers have been asked to arrive at least 3 hours before the departure of a flight to the United States.

Apart from this, on hour before the flight lands in the United States, the passengers are not allowed to leave their seats, use blankets or electronic items, or read newspapers.