Starting Monday (Jul. 18), luggage inspection and frisks at airports in Brazil are to be more strict. The new rules come from the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), and aim to ensure passengers are extra safe.
Among the changes is the decision to make all passengers subject to a random body search, conducted by an officer of the same sex. The check is to take place either in public view or in private, at the discretion of the passenger and the agent, and always in the presence of a witness.
The rule further stipulates that domestic travelers will have to remove portable computers and other electronic devices from their suitcases and backpacks, as was already the case for international flights. Passengers may also be asked to open their hand baggage for inspection.
ANAC advises travelers to come to the airport at least two hours in advance for both domestic and international flights. Further questions are answered on the agency's website.
The new rules have caused extra long lines in boarding areas at airports throughout the country early on Monday morning. “One of the lines was 300 meters long. It was really inconvenient, as some of the people had arrived just half an hour earlier, because they had checked in in advance and were close to missing their flight. A number of delays were reported. My bag had to go through [the X-ray machine] twice, because of the laptop and the medicines. It was really unusual,” said telecom engineer Felipe Tonetti, 31, who had to line up at the Congonhas Airport, in São Paulo, before getting on board.
Amanda Guimarães, 28, who was headed for Rio de Janeiro from Porto Alegre, was surprised by the X-ray screening, and complained that “the line was too long, because they asked for everybody to open their suitcases. That's why I think some flights were delayed,” she said.
Twenty-year-old Dayana Souza, in turn, was on a plane from Curitiba to Rio de Janeiro, and described the frisk at the airport as strict, but nonetheless said, “I think the line moved pretty fast, actually. It took some 20 minutes. They asked me to take off my boots, because the X-ray machine went off when I walked through it,” she said.
According to ANAC, “the outcome was monitored at some terminals, and a more significant impact was observed at the Congonhas Airport.” The agency regretted the inconvenience at some of the terminals and urged affected passengers to remain patient, and to “bear in mind that the introduction of such procedures aim solely to step up the security of all passengers and their relatives in Brazil's air transport,” he said.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Agência Brasil.