Airport staff who work airside at Australia’s major airports will be the focus of additional security measures being introduced to protect the travelling public, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester says.
The new rules include random explosive trace screening for the 140,000 Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) holders – staff such as baggage handlers, catering workers or engineers, among others – working airside at Australia’s nine major airports.
There will also be more security training and tighter access controls, it was announced on Sunday, with the full rollout of measures to be introduced by January 2019.
The new security arrangements were part of a package of measures that passed through Parliament in March.
Chester said the random explosive trace detection would be conducted either during the day, or when they enter the workplace.
Further, the Minister said the government was acting on the latest advice from intelligence agencies in Australia and overseas.
“It will be random, it will be unpredictable, and we believe it is an effective way of deterring that small minority of people who would seek to do us harm,” Chester told reporters in Canberra on Monday, according to a transcript released by the Minister’s office.
“We are constantly working with our security agencies to make sure that we are responding to new or emerging threats. There is no question the insider threat is one of those that we need to keep working on as a government.”
Chester said there had been no specific threat the government was responding to.
In August, increased security screening was temporarily brought in for travellers at Australia’s airports after Australian Federal Police and NSW Police raided homes in Sydney after receiving intelligence of a threat to smuggle a home-made explosive device to bring down a passenger aircraft.