According to a report in The Weekend Australian, new airport security measures and travel rules are going to be introduced in Australian domestic airports, in the wake of last week’s foiled plot to blow up an Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi.
Inconveniently, the new measures will include renewed restrictions on taking liquids on board domestic flights – there are currently no rules in place regarding carrying liquids, aerosols and gels while flying within Australia, unlike going internationally.
There will also likely be tighter security surrounding identification, including mandatory photo IDs, and possible biometric ID checks, like iris and fingerprint scans. People without a valid boarding pass are probably not going to be allowed past security any more either, which means you’ll have to say goodbye to your mates out by check-in.
Also possible is the introduction of controversial full body scanners, which are currently used in the States – to the dismay of people who don’t like being irradiated or forced to expose their bits to strangers via scanning technology.
These new security measures are being discussed by Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton, Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Transport Minister Darren Chester, and are likely to go before the Federal Cabinet within the next few weeks.
Domestic airlines are expected to fight the new rules, as they’ll be expensive to implement. If forced to bring them in, it’s likely that passengers will cover those costs via more exxy plane tickets.
As annoying as all this may sound, it’s prudent to remember that the plot to blow up the Etihad flight was only foiled because check-in staff said that the hand luggage containing the terrorists’ explosive device was too heavy to carry on board. The thought of what might have happened had they packed a little lighter is frankly terrifying.
Passengers around Australia have already faced delays as domestic airport security is tightened up in the aftermath of the attempted bombing, and in all likelihood it’s only going to continue to clamp down. Plan your trips accordingly.