9 Mar 2015

Passenger numbers 'extraordinarily small'

7:14 pm on 9 March 2015

A former head of Aviation New Zealand says there aren't enough travellers heading to the Middle East to warrant more thorough passenger checks in this country.

Auckland International Airport

Auckland International Airport Photo: RNZ

Britain is introducing a new law tomorrow which will stop passengers who may be travelling to join Islamic State militants.

So far, 600 Britons have flown to Syria or Iraq.

Irene King, a former Chief Executive of Aviation New Zealand, said more in-depth passenger screening was not as relevant here as it was in Britain.

"You've got to put it in the context of the numbers, as it is, entering and New Zealanders leaving New Zealand. These are extraordinarily small numbers that we're talking about in that overall context."

The GCSB, Ministry of Transport and Air New Zealand have declined to comment on whether this country might introduce cross-matching of terror watchlists with passenger manifests.