SYDNEY (Australia): Major security gaps persist at Australian airports despite authorities’ efforts to tighten screenings after thwarting an alleged terror plot to burst a plane, the pilots’ union has warned.
Four men were arrested in Sydney on Saturday, accused of planning an attack running an improvised an explosive device, prompting authorities to tighten security at airports across the nation.
But pilots, that have being screened alongside air crew, retail workers and passengers, said similar requirements are not in position for ground staff, who definitely are instead issued with security cards.
“Pilots and cabin crew are routinely screened as well as passengers but much of ground staff can access aircraft within the tarmac with no same degree of scrutiny,” Australian Airline Pilots Association president Murray Butt said late Wednesday.
“We think it will enhance airport security if all airline staff with use of aircraft, were screened into the same level as personnel entering in the terminal.”
The concerns came as Sydney’s Daily Telegraph cited sources alleging the plot involved having an unwitting passenger to bring a bomb onboard, with Etihad Airways confirming today it absolutely was improving the investigation.
Aviation experts have warned about loopholes, such as the utilization of private-sector security officers rather than government employees at airports, without any photo ID checks for passengers at domestic terminals.
Butt said Australia necessary to emulate us states requirement of photo ID checks for passengers, while a former Sydney Airport security chief said security databases really should be connected with booking systems.
“The scary thing is domestic airlines have no idea of who\’s really on their aircraft,” Mike Carmody told The Australian Financial Review.
“You can find minimal coordination. If you do not have been completely someone that really sticks out, you\’re going to fly all through security.”
Transport Minister Darren Chester Thursday defended today\’s measures, saying workers with admission to large passenger planes must hold a security card only issued after thorough checks.
“We’ve endeavoured to toughen up regulations around getting access to those cards, and so individuals who have accessibility to airport environment are trusted,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“So it’s been recognised there are issues around the world pertaining to the threat furnished by the so-called trusted insider… and we\’re taking measures to maintain the Australian travelling public safe.”
One of the four men was introduced for nothing Wednesday. Cannabis before the weekend to hang the additional three after receiving a court extension.
Australia’s national terror alert level was raised in September 2014 amid concerns over attacks by individuals inspired by organisations for instance IS.
Several terror attacks occurred in Australia these days, along with a Sydney cafe siege in 2014 which saw two hostages killed.