Security equipment lands on regional airports

Regional and remote airports will be provided with federal funding to procure security equipment and enable updated screening procedures.

The airports falling under local government control have received a total of $4.9 million following $32 million already provided to purchase screening equipment.

This equipment includes walk-through and hand-held metal detectors, x-ray machines for carry-on baggage and explosive trace detection.

Effective 1 July, aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 20000 kilograms or more will be required to commence passenger and checked baggage screening.

According to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, the $4.9 million will contribute to ‘minor modifications’ of passenger terminal facilities.

Installation of passenger walkways, glass panels and check points will be included in these modifications.

Security staff have been trained to use these screening technologies for $9 million since 2005, according to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport.

Eligible airports will receive funding on a dollar for dollar contribution, which will range from $100000 to $460000, including Bundaberg Regional Council and Maranoa Regional Council.

Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Mal Forman said the funding for this screening equipment is to ensure passengers flying in regional Australia can do so “safely and securely”.

Maranoa Regional Council Acting Chief Executive Officer Rob Hayward said the equipment is operated similarly to those used in larger airports.

“While screening will not be compulsory until 1 July 2012, the use of this equipment will see passengers experience minimal changes and time delays when checking in for departure with the screening of passengers, guests and carry-on baggage completed upon entering the departure lounge,” Mr Hayward said.

According to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, the federal government will work with the Australian Airports Association to deliver the modifications.

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