Airport Security FAQ's
- How can I minimize delays and ensure a smooth transition through security screening?
To help avoid any delays you should pack your liquids, aerosols and gels before you arrive at the airport. Make sure that each container you wish to take on board does not exceed the allowable 100 millilitres, and that all containers are packed comfortably in a single, transparent, plastic, re-sealable bag. The sum of the four sides of the sealed area should not exceed 80 cm (e.g. 20x20 cm or 15x25 cm).
- What will I be expected to do when I reach the screening point?
You will be required to present your bag containing liquids, aerosols and gels for visual inspection to ensure it complies with the regulations. You will need to surrender any liquids, aerosols or gels in containers larger than 100 millilitres. You will be required to remove all bulky overcoats for X-ray, and may also be requested to submit to a frisk (pat down) search.
- What happens with my duty free LAGs if I am a passenger on an international flight transiting through your airports?
Transit or transfer passengers will be able to take certain duty free liquid, aerosol and gel items through the screening point as directed by security officers.
- What will happen to liquid, aerosol and gel items that have been confiscated?
Any item that is not allowed on board aircraft will be confiscated at the final security checkpoint. However, we recommend that you communicate with your airline if you are not sure of the validity of any item carried on board while preparing for your journey.
- Why do I need to be frisk searched?
You may be subject to a frisk search when you progress through the security screening point to determine whether you are carrying any liquids, aerosols, gels or any items that have not been packed or declared. This happens on a random basis.
- What does a frisk search involve?
If you are selected for a frisk search a security screening officer will explain that you have been randomly selected and will ask your permission to conduct the search. If you refuse you will not be allowed to board your flight.
A frisk search is not designed to be intrusive, and will usually take no more than 30 seconds. The frisk search must be conducted by a security screening officer who is the same sex as you. The officer will run their hands over your outer garments to ensure there are no items hidden on your person. If the officer discovers a hidden item, you will be required to remove and possibly surrender the item. You may also be subject to a second frisk search.
If you are unsure about any part of the frisk search process, you should ask the security screening officer to explain it to you. You may request that the frisk search take place in a private room. In these circumstances you will be accompanied by two security screening officers, one to undertake the frisk search, and one to act as a witness.
If you deliberately try to conceal liquids, aerosols, gels or any item that is prohibited you may be subject to interrogation involving Police.
If you have a medical device on your person, you may wish to inform the security screening officer of this prior to the frisk search, although you are not required to do so.
- What does a random frisk search mean?
Security screening officers do not target or profile particular passengers. They are instructed to continuously undertake frisk searches, which means once they have finished one frisk search, they will select the very next person they see. If you are selected, it means you were that person. It's not just passengers who are selected; airport and airline staff and government officers may also be randomly selected.
Because security screening officers select people for a frisk search at random, you won't be selected every time you pass through a screening point. The process is similar to the random and continuous explosive trace detection process currently in place at screening points.
- Travelers with specific cultural or religious requirements
Everyone, regardless of their religious or cultural background, has to be screened before they are allowed to board the plane. The Tanzania Government understands that some cultures incorporate elements of clothing into their religious observance. Before going through the screening point you may be asked to remove religious items for screening. You can request that the security screening takes place in a private room and that the screening is conducted by a person of the same sex.
Check with your airline before you travel regarding what items you cannot take on board. Some religious items could be considered prohibited items or weapons under our law. If you are carrying a prohibited item or weapon in your carry-on baggage or on your person, security screening officers may be able to make arrangements for you to pack this item in your checked baggage, however this may not always be possible. Where it is not possible, you will have to surrender the item to pass through the security screening point. It is best to pack such items in your checked baggage, if permitted. Click here to get the list of prohibited items.
- A caution about getting angry or argumentative at the security screening point
A security screening officer's decision about what items to allow through a screening point is final. Arguing or getting angry with a security screening officer will most likely result in the situation getting worse. If you become verbally or physically aggressive, you may be denied permission to fly.
In some circumstances you can be arrested and charged by the Police, which may result in significant fines, possible jail time or both, if you are convicted of an offence. Airlines may also ban you from flying with them. The Tanzania Government takes aviation security very seriously, and people causing any unlawful disturbance at a screening point should expect to be dealt with according to the law.
Security screening officers do not deliberately try to make your travel experience difficult or unpleasant. Their job is to ensure the Tanzania Government aviation security requirements are met and that all members of the air travelling public and private are as secure as possible.