PASSENGERS arriving at Nausori Airport from Auckland last Friday were the first to experience the new x-ray machine introduced to screen baggage.
Biosecurity Authority of Fiji's Nausori Airport supervisor Taitusi Naiduki said the machine would allow for faster and more efficient passenger processing.
"Under the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization is the quick clearance of passengers, and they require 40 minutes between disembarking the plane and leaving Customs," he said.
"To achieve that you need to increase the speed of checks and when you do this you compromise the security, so this x-ray machine has been introduced to minimise the risks of quick clearance of passengers."
Mr Naiduki said the new machine substituted the manual questioning of passengers and inspection of baggage by officers, which was a slow and unreliable process.
He said international standard machines would detect seeds, foodstuff and plant and animal products, which could introduce exotic pests and disease, and harm agriculture in Fiji.
Arriving passengers were impressed at the new machine.
UNDP staff Peter Bachelor, a regular passenger to Nausori Airport, said his arrival was a much quicker and pleasant experience, while acknowledging the importance of protecting Fiji's diversity.
Nausori Airport receives eight international flights per week, not including private planes.