An aviation security officer was stood down after allowing a passenger to carry a case of boxcutter blades on to a plane.

The breach was among 154 reported incidents at Christchurch and Wellington airports in the year to December 7.

Details were released to the Herald on Sunday by the Civil Aviation Authority under the Official Information Act.

The report shows security staff at Christchurch discovered a boxcutter and 10 blades in a passenger's carry-on luggage last January 14.

"Passenger indicated that he was a carpenter and these were tools of trade," it said. "He also indicated that he had travelled from Christchurch earlier on in the day and the items had gone through security with no problems."

Aviation security commentator Jim Ott said the 9/11 hijackers used boxcutters to attack passengers.

"It's clearly a failure with the screening. Thankfully, the carpenter wasn't a terrorist.

"It looks like they need some tightening up before it opens into a threat possibility."

In November, the Herald on Sunday reported that an international traveller with a loaded handgun in his luggage breached security at Auckland airport.

Other incidents at Christchurch and Wellington included doors and barriers being left open and people being found in secure areas without clearance.

CAA spokeswoman Emma Peel said the officer who allowed the carpenter's blades on board was stood down and retrained before resuming his duties.

She estimated the CAA was told of two screening failures a month.

The Aviation Security Service has reviewed its rostering system so tired staff are not doing critical duties, such as screening, at the end of their shift.

Avsec chief operating officer Chris Tosswill said every breach was documented and reported to the CAA.

He had no concerns about Avsec systems or staff.

Christchurch International Airport chief executive Jim Boult said every staff member would be going through an aviation security awareness programme before this year's Rugby World Cup.

Wellington airport spokeswoman Kat Lintott said aviation security was run by Avsec, and refused to comment.