Jun 25, 2010

Abbott’s recklessness on aviation security continues

Abbott’s recklessness on aviation security continues

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

June 25 2010

For the second time in just nine months, Tony Abbott’s Senators have repealed vital security regulations which restricted access to a passenger plane’s cockpit to only those with a legitimate reason to be there.

Twice now this Government has, on the advice of security experts, attempted to put in place regulations which restrict access to only those with an operational, safety, security or training reason to be in the cockpit, closing a dangerous loophole in the nation’s aviation security laws.

In a move that defies logic, the Federal Coalition – with support from The Greens and independents – has again removed these legal restrictions, leaving Australians to rely on industry self-regulation.

Hardened cockpit doors are the last line of defence against terrorists seizing control of a plane. But without clear and consistent regulations their effectiveness is compromised.

Importantly, these commonsense regulations would not have stopped pilots allowing a passenger who is a doctor, off-duty pilot or engineer into the cockpit to help with the safety or security of the plane.

Once again, the Federal Coalition has repudiated the long standing bipartisan approach to aviation security and safety. Only last week, they played politics with legislation which will give our independent aviation safety watchdog, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, extra resources.

We now know that Mr Abbott is not only a risk to the economy and our national security – he’s also a big risk to aviation security and safety.

The regulations disallowed this week were outlined in the Aviation White Paper and complemented the $200 million aviation security package funded in last month’s Budget.