Air security boost

Port Lincoln Airport
Port Lincoln Airport

Security screening could be reintroduced at the Port Lincoln Airport under a federal government move to beef up security at regional airports.

Last week’s federal budget included a $50.1-million commitment to support 64 regional airports to upgrade to new advanced screening technologies.

A spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said passenger and baggage screening technology would be upgraded at all current screening airports in both major and regional centres.

However they could not could not comment on the exact security measures at each airport.

“Changes will include the use of advanced X-ray equipment with sophisticated capability to detect explosives and other threats,” the spokesperson said. 

“Body scanners will also replace walk-through metal detectors at almost all security screened airports.

“Upgrading screening technology is one of the most effective changes we can make to address the increasing sophistication of explosives and other threats.”

Security screening was previously introduced at the Port Lincoln airport in 2012 when the federal government introduced a requirement for passengers and baggage on aircraft weighing more than 20 tonnes to be screened.

This included the QantasLink Q400 flying the route at the time, however the screening was no longer necessary when QantasLink started using the smaller Dash 8 Q300 on the route.

A Regional Express spokesperson said the airline was awaiting further detail from the Department of Home Affairs on the pending changes before providing any comment.

A QantasLink spokeserson said the airline would continue to work closely with law enforcement and security agencies in the coming weeks and months on the plans for increased security measures.

“The safety of our passengers is always paramount,” the spokesperson said.