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At least 8 Australian regional airports to lift security checks

At least eight small regional airports in Australia will not move forward with security checkpoints, a decision that security experts have fiercely criticized. The decision not to accommodate the check-in facilities for passengers and luggage is considered a cost saving, as they represent a financial burden for small settlements.

Many of these airports only fly to one or two destinations and are served by very few flights. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons

Many regional airports in Australia are without security checks

According to the Guardian Australia, more than 50 regional airports do not have processes in place to check passengers or baggage for scheduled services. These include flights that take passengers to the capitals. Airports across the country have been subject to stricter security requirements since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but have been steadily declining since then.

Many regional airports across the country are allowed to remove their security screening equipment and related personnel. Therefore, passengers boarding flights will not be scanned or their luggage checked.

The airports are served by regional airlines such as Regional Express and QantasLink. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons

The following airports in Queensland are reportedly included in these new changes:

  • Longreach
  • Blake
  • Barcaldine
  • Cloncurry

While the Australian Home Office declined to disclose which airports, sources note that there are at least eight and as many as 13 that are considered exempt from inspection. According to the North Queensland Registry, a spokesman for the Home Office said the following:

“In recognition of the impact of the cost of upgrading new technologies on critical regional aviation services, the government has allocated $ 50.1 million to help eligible regional airports upgrade their security clearance equipment. It has been found that some small, regional and remote airports no longer meet the security control threshold. They will still be subject to safety and other regulatory requirements. “

A matter of cost

The new regulations allow airports that are regularly operated by planes carrying less than 40 passengers and with less than 30,000 people departing each year to remove previously required security equipment.

For the airports in question, a risk has clearly been calculated – concluding that a terrorist incident occurring during a flight from one of these facilities is very unlikely – rather than a threat high enough to justify security costs.

The mayor of Longreach says ending the security check at the city’s airport would save about $ 30,000 by hiring security staff and operating scanners, calling it a “real financial burden.” At the same time, the mayor of Blackall-Tambo called the security screening a “huge price” for his board, which manages Blackall Airport.

Saab 340 Regional Express
Regional Express says more than 85% of its 60 destinations are without screening. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons

Speaking to Guardian Australia, Jeff Askeu, a security consultant, was extremely critical of the plan, saying “For every regular public transport aircraft, every passenger must be checked. They must be screened to the same standard in Longreach as in Sydney. Why is the risk lower if they are 36-seater or jumbo? ” Askeu, former director of security and emergency planning at Qantas says it doesn’t make sense “The global publicity for their cause that terrorists want would be exactly the same.”

Clearly, checking airport security for remote Australian communities is a financial burden – made even more difficult during reduced travel and economic activity. However, these air connections are crucial for many of these cities, and it would probably be impossible to pass these costs on to passengers by increasing airline tickets. This is therefore a difficult situation for these regional airports and is not easily solved without more money.

Do you think that the assessment of the low-risk and low-risk is sound? Or should a security check be carried out at all airports, no matter what the size? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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