A Saab Dash 8 twin-engine turbo prop at Grafton Airport.
A Saab Dash 8 twin-engine turbo prop at Grafton Airport. FRANK REDWARD

Security review to exclude airport

SECURITY at Grafton Airport will remain unchanged because the standard of the aircraft that uses it falls below the minimum required for the upgrade.

Clarence Valley Council’s airport operations manager Rick Johnson said because the aircraft flying out of the airport are propeller-driven, there will be no change to security arrangements.

A Federal Government review of regional airport security arrangements will force some of the bigger regional centres that cater for the Dash 8 400 series planes to improve security. These aircraft do not land at Grafton.

Mr Johnson said there was capacity to upgrade security including the use of hand wand metal detectors, bag searches and pat-down searches of passengers.

The local agent for REX Airlines, Corey Bertalli, said passengers boarding aircraft at Grafton are asked if they have anything sharp or dangerous in their hand luggage and directed to a poster on the wall outlining what constitutes a dangerous article.

“We also keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviour when passengers go out to board the plane,” Mr Bertalli said.

“The money they would have to spend to upgrade regional airport security means it’s going to stay in the too-hard basket.”



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