After Australian police prevented a plane bombing by conducting raids across Sydney, the Australian government has enforced new security measures that require domestic flight passengers to arrive at the airport two hours before their departure. The additional time will be allotted for additional security screening to prevent terror acts.
On July 30, BBC reports that Australian police seized improvise explosive devices in a “major joint counter-terrorism operation” in Surry Hills, Lakemba, Wiley Park and Punchbowl. In a news conference, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said four men were arrested in the foiled terrorist attack which could be linked to ISIS: “In recent days, law enforcement has become aware of information that suggested some people in Sydney were planning to commit a terrorist attack using an IED (improvised explosive device),” says Colvin.
Following the foiled terror threat, Qantas and Virgin announced a new two-hour security measure to ensure safety in airports, reports Gizmodo. “The Australian Government has introduced additional aviation security measures at international and domestic terminals at Australia’s major airports,” Qantas said in a statement. “Customers can expect to experience an increased level of security at the airport so it may take a little longer than usual to get through the process.”
Qantas said they have made no changes on what items can be brought on the aircraft. They have also issued some tips to help passengers with their new policy:
- Passengers should arrive at the airport two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights to allow ample time for screening.
- Passengers should limit the amount of carry-on and checked baggage they travel with as this will help to ensure security screening is efficient.
The terror threat has caused fear among Australians, and an aviation security expert said Australia lacks the proper equipment for their security measures, reports News AU. “There are other ways of blowing up aeroplanes and they’re certainly not covered by anything the Australain government or agencies have done to date,” said Homeland Security Asia Pacific Roger Henning. “It would not show up any plastic explosives inside any metal object, what would show up is the metal object and that should trigger a response to have it examined manually, and removed.”