Passengers flying to Australia from the Middle East will undergo extra scrutiny, as the Federal Government aims to bolster airline security.
Looking to “ensure those traveling to Australia are safe, and to maintain our strong security settings”, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said carriers flying directly from Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai will commence extra screening measures at boarding gates.
“In response to national security advice the Federal Government has made precautionary changes and instructed airlines to implement new protocols from next week,” he said, whilst assuring people “that there is no specific threat to Australia”.
Among the new measures will be “explosive detection screening” for random passengers and their luggage, as well as targeted screening of electronic devices. The new rule follows the US and UK’s ban on laptops and other large electronic devices in cabins of flights from certain Gulf countries.
“Our changes are in line with the UK, which recently announced that people travelling from Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai will be subject to random explosive trace detection (ETD) screening,” Mr Chester said.
“There is no ban on the carriage of electronic devices on flights to Australia at this stage.
“The Government is continuing to ensure Australians and visitors who travel by air can do so in the knowledge that every precaution is being taken to ensure they arrive at their destinations safely.”
Qantas Airways, Etihad Airways (including Virgin Australia code share passengers), Emirates, and Qatar Airways, which already have gate screening measures for liquids, aerosols and gels restrictions on Australia-bound flights, will be affected by the new rule.
More information on dangerous goods can be found at travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au/onboard/