Security Search FAQs: What to expect at Stornoway Airport

What will happen if the alarm sounds when going through the archway metal detector?

If the alarm does sound, one of our security operatives will explain the reason for the alarm and the process they need to follow. You will be asked to make sure you have emptied all your pockets and remove your footwear before going through the archway metal detector again.

The archway metal detector may alarm for the following reasons:

  • You have been selected for a random search, which we are required to undertake to meet UK regulatory requirements. If you have been selected for a random search a member of our security team will approach you to explain the process.  A sample will be taken from the laces of your footwear using a paper swab. You will then be asked to make your way through the body scanner. If the body scanner alarms, one of our highly trained security operatives will proceed with a targeted hand search of the area which has been highlighted by the body scanner. 
  • If you have any metallic objects on your person, the alarm will sound. This could be the result of joint implants, footwear, coins, or metal items carried in pockets, some underwire underwear, hair clips or jewellery. If the alarm sounds due to metal being detected you will be asked to check again for any metallic objects on you person, before travelling through the archway metal detector for a second time.

If the archway metal detector does not alarm on the second occasion, you will be asked to make your way through the body scanner. If the body scanner alarms, one of our highly trained security operatives will proceed with a hand search of the area which has been highlighted by the body scanner. 

If the archway metal detector alarms again on the second time of passing through, you will be asked to make your way through the body scanner. This will involve a targeted search of the area that was identified by the archway metal detector, this involves one of our security operatives using a handheld metal detector to identify what was causing the archway to alarm.  You will also have a targeted search on any areas identified by the body scanner.

If you alarm on the lower leg area of the archway metal detector, then you will be asked to remove your shoes and place them in a tray to go through the X-Ray machine prior to traveling through the body scanner.

Our security operatives must go through a thorough protocol for a physical search and follow a specific check list, which meet specific UK regulatory requirements.  Our security operatives undergo regular and rigorous training in order meet required standards.

This is to make sure that you are not carrying any prohibited or dangerous items on your person. 

If the source of the metal cannot be confirmed, you will be asked to identify what it is and undergo a private search by a member of our security team. The search is undertaken to allow a member of our security team to visually identify the source that is causing the metal detectors to alarm. The search will be completed in private, if you feel uncomfortable at any time you can ask to speak to the Duty Security Supervisor. Please note that a duty Security Supervisor may not be immediately available due to other responsibilities. They will present themselves a soon as possible, and your patience is appreciated.

You have the right to refuse a private search. If you do refuse to undergo a private search you will not be allowed to pass through to the departure lounge and will be asked to return to the check-in desk and advise airline staff that you will not be travelling.

We must follow this process to make sure no dangerous or prohibited items are taken into the departure lounge and/or onto an aircraft.