This website explains the screening process at Narita Airport.

Security Screening for Passengers

We ask for your cooperation with security screening conducted by each airline you use at Narita International Airport and all airports in Japan.

The reason for security screening is to prevent all hijackings and other acts of terrorism. Therefore, it is essential that passengers are prevented from bringing weapons, explosives, or other dangerous items onto the aircraft.

All passengers who board the aircraft must undergo security screening. This ensures that passengers can smoothly depart for their destinations and will be safe and secure on their flights.

Security screening conducted by airlines is prescribed by laws and regulations. First, please read Article 86 of the Civil Aeronautics Act.

Article 86 (Prohibition for Carriage of Explosives etc.)
(1) An aircraft shall not carry any goods of an explosive or highly combustible nature, or any other goods which are liable to injure persons or to damage objects, as may be specified by Ordinances of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
(2) No person shall carry into an aircraft any goods set forth in under the preceding paragraph.

Before the screening is conducted, it is prescribed in this act that no person boarding the aircraft (including passengers, pilots, attendants, and everyone else who boards the aircraft) may bring any dangerous objects onto the plane.

In addition, article 86-2 of the Civil Aeronautics Act states the following:

(1) Any person who operates an air transport services may, when he/she has any reason to suspect that any cargo, baggage or personal effects carried by passengers or any other goods which have been carried or are about to be carried into an aircraft, judging from their shape, weight or other circumstances, constitute the goods referred to in paragraph (1) of the preceding article, refuse carriage of these goods in an aircraft and require the consignor or the owner of these goods to unload them, or unload them by himself/herself; provided, however, that the person who operates air transport services may unload the said goods by himself/herself only when the consignor or the owner of such goods is not present there.

In other words, the law states that if a passenger is suspected to have something dangerous in his or her baggage, the airline can prevent this baggage from coming on board the aircraft or have it unloaded.

In addition, in order for airlines to engage in the air transport business in Japan, they must obtain a “License” (Civil Aeronautics Act Article 100) from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
To receive this license, each airline must present an “operation plan” (Civil Aeronautics Act Article 100-2) to the Minister.

It is clearly prescribed that this operation plan must include “Measures to Prevent Seizure of Aircraft and Other Acts” (Ordinance for the Enforcement of the Civil Aeronautics Act Article 210 Paragraph 1 Item 7 and Article 232 Paragraph 1 No. 7 “Ho”). These measures refer to security measures that include the screening of passengers’ baggage. This is why security screening for passengers in airports in Japan are conducted by each airline.

Narita International Airport cooperates with each airline, in enforcing aviation security measures to protect the safety of passengers and aircraft.

Please understand that this Security Guide is also designed to help alleviate the troubles and complaints that passengers departing on aircraft from Narita International Airport may have about the security screening they must undergo, and to raise awareness of the various rules and regulations regarding screening so that passengers can better enjoy their flights.

A Brief History of Global Air Security

Global rules regarding private airlines are determined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations, announced in 1944 at the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the “Chicago Convention”) and formally launched in 1947. Japan became a member in 1953. All ICAO member states must uphold the Convention and its 18 Annexes containing standards and recommended practices.
Japan also accepted the Convention and developed its own laws, establishing the Civil Aeronautics Act and the Ordinance for its Enforcement. With regard to air security, Japan has implemented security measures to meet the Security standards in Annex 17, with its National Civil Aviation Security Program establishing even more detailed measures. Based on these measures, through the creation and enforcement of concrete and thorough programs, we provide the optimum security to air passengers.

Legal Basis

  • Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention)
    • ANNEX 9 “Facilitation”
    • ANNEX 17 “Security”
    • ANNEX 18 “The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air”
    • Technical Instructions
    • Emergency Response Guidance
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations
  • Civil Aeronautics Act (Japan)
    • Article 86 (Prohibition for Carriage of Explosives etc.)
    • Article 86-2
    • Article 100 (License)
    • Article 106 (Approval of Conditions of Carriage)
    • Article 145 (Offences of Failure to Board Prescribed Airmen, etc.)
    • Article 150 (Offences of Failure to Carry Competence Certificate, etc.)
  • Ordinance for the Enforcement of the Civil Aeronautics Act (Japan)
    • Article 194 Paragraph 1 (Articles Prohibited from Transport)
    • Article 194 Paragraph 2 (Articles Released from Prohibition from Transport)
    • Article 210 Paragraph 2 Item 7 (Operation Plan: Measures to Prevent Seizure of Aircraft and Other Acts)
    • Article 232 Paragraph 1 Item 7 “Ho” (Operation Plan: Measures to Prevent Seizure of Aircraft and Other Acts)
  • Notices Determining Standards for the Transport of Explosives and Other Hazardous Materials via Aircraft
    • Article 27 (Matters Determined by Ordinance Article 194 Paragraph 2 Item 4, Attached Sheet No. 18)
  • National Civil Aviation Security Program
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