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'Airport search is standard procedure'

ACSA says it is normal protocol to physically search passengers who set off security check alarms.

Air travel. Picture: stock.xchng

JOHANNESBURG - Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) on Wednesday said it was normal protocol to pat down passengers if they set off the alarm when going through the security check.

A Johannesburg man complained that he was embarrassed after he was searched in front of other passengers at the OR Tambo International Airport.

He was travelling to New York with his wife on 1 September.

Mohamed Bhamjee said while he did not object to the security check, he wanted it to be done in private, but was told by security guards it was not possible.

Acsa spokesperson Unathi Batyashe-Fillis said they regretted Bhamjee's negative experience.

"Our security officers were following standard procedures to do random manual searches. And when a passenger metal detector goes off, we normally do those searches."

Batyashe-Fillis said strip-down searches were conducted in private.