Passengers departing some regional Queensland airports in Australia no longer need to go through security screening, under new Federal Government rules to be rolled out across the nation by Christmas. Passenger security screening ceased at Longreach Airport recently and at Barcaldine Airport in August.
It’s a move that will be replicated at a handful of other regional airports under new federal regulations, which will commence on the 19th of December. The Department of Home Affairs, which is responsible for administering aviation security legislation, has undertaken a review of the risk profiles of the nation’s airports. As a result, a new ‘tier’ framework is being introduced that will re-categorise airports based on their security requirements, and see some lose security screening while others will be required to increase security measures.
The ABC understands around six more regional airports will cease screening under the new regulations, and 13 airports will be required to upgrade security arrangements. In a statement to the ABC, a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said the new framework “better reflects the operational diversity and range of security risks faced by Australian airports, while recognising the changing security environment”.
John Coyne, the head of strategic policing and law enforcement program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the decision to downgrade an airport’s security was based on a strategic calculation. Cloncurry Airport, in north-west Queensland, will cease security screening from December 19 when the new regulations take effect. David Bezuidenhout, the CEO of the Cloncurry Shire Council, which operates the airport, said the council had been planning to upgrade security screening, but the Federal Government’s review later determined the measures were “no longer required”.