Travellers were put through extra screening checks after a missing piece of cutlery raised security fears at Queenstown Airport today.

International passengers were asked to go through security a second time, because of what the airport called a 'low-level threat'.

Mike Clay, General Manager of Operations and Safety at Queenstown Airport, said "all kitchen utensils used in the international lounge are recorded and accounted for on a regular basis. "

"When one item could not be accounted for today, we took the step of rescreening all international passengers and this led to some delays."

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The missing utensil is thought to have been a 6-7cm long paring knife.

Regulations state that any missing knife longer than 6cm must be reported to airport security.

Border Control and the police worked with airport staff to respond to the threat, and to keep disruption to a minimum.

A total of three flights were reboarded as a precaution.

Mr Clay apologised for the inconvenience the search caused.

All disrupted flights have now departed.