Australian government ramps up overseas pre-flight security for Middle East arrivals
Random screening checks for Australia-bound passengers.
Following US President Donald Trump's controversial travel restrictions and the recent electronics ban, the Australian government has ordered extra security screening for those arriving via the Middle East.
Passengers boarding Australia-bound Qantas Airways, Etihad Airways (including Virgin Australia code share flights), Emirates, and Qatar Airways services will be subjected to the usual liquids, aerosols and gels restrictions protocols as well as potential random explosive trace detection (ETD) screening.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester assured Australians that despite these new measures there is no specific terrorism threat, or otherwise, to national security.
"Explosive detection screening will be conducted for randomly selected passengers and their baggage. Checks may also include targeted screening of electronic devices," he said.
Chester said the changes were in line with the United Kingdom, where people travelling from Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai will also be subjected to additional security screening.
Large phones, laptops and tablets are banned in the cabin on flights from 10 countries flying to the US.
Some carriers have begun offering loaner laptops, tablets and storage for US-bound business travellers.
There is currently no ban on the carriage of electronic devices on flights to Australia.
“The Federal Government has regular contact with international partners and will continue to monitor security developments and adjust security settings if needed," Chester added.
Travellers are advised to contact their airline with questions if they are affected by the new measures.