The Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) yesterday denied that it has not been using some of its X-ray computed tomography (CT) machines to scan passengers’ luggage, adding that luggage conveyor belts leading to the machines were removed to facilitate the movement of passengers inside Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
A report published yesterday by the Chinese-language Apple Daily said that the machines were purchased six years ago by the Aviation Police Bureau to enhance flight safety for aircraft bound for the US following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
According to the report, the bureau purchased six X-ray CT machines, each costing NT$35 million (US$1.06 million).
The Apple Daily said that the TIAC earlier this year removed the conveyor belts leading to two of the machines to create more space for a passageway inside the airport’s Terminal Two, which the company said would expedite the process of passengers going through security checks.
It said the move equated to NT$70 million of taxpayers’ money being wasted.
In addition to the machines not being used, the removal of the conveyor belts means workers have to carry luggage to machines that are still in use, the story added.
The TIAC’s actions have prompted accusations that the company was wasting taxpayers’ money and compromising flight safety, the report said.
TIAC maintenance division director Sun Hong-bin (孫宏彬) said that the two X-ray CT machines were previously placed behind the No. 8, No. 9, No. 10 and No. 11 check-in counters.
He said that the company’s decision to relocate the conveyor belts leading to the two machines was to ensure that passengers had more space to move inside the terminal and to facilitate departing passengers’ access to the security checkpoint, adding that the decision was made following a joint discussion with the Aviation Police Bureau and airline companies.
Sun said the main function of the machines is to more thoroughly inspect luggage if security personnel have concerns over items inside after preliminary inspections via regular X-ray machines.
He said that X-ray CT machines have also been used to conduct random inspections of luggage belonging to passengers flying to the US.
On average, only one or two pieces of luggage from every 100 requires a more thorough inspection using X-ray CT machines, Sun said, adding that all TIAC X-ray CT machines are still in active use and functioning normally.
In other news, some Taiwanese airlines yesterday announced changes to their schedule for flights between Taiwan and Japan today because of Typhoon Goni, which was pounding the Ryukyu Islands yesterday afternoon.
China Airlines said Flight CI116 and Flight CI117 between Taoyuan and Fukuoka, and Flight CI111 from Fukuoka to Taoyuan, are to be delayed.
Flight CI116 is scheduled to depart Taoyuan at 4:50pm, while Flight CI117 and Flight CI111 are scheduled to depart Fukuoka at 9pm and 9:30pm respectively, China Airlines said.
Typhoon Goni is expected to hit Kyushu, Japan, this morning before heading out to sea, the Central Weather Bureau said.
Additional reporting by CNA
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said