May 13, 2010

Aviation security – restricting access to the cockpit

Aviation security – restricting access to the cockpit

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 13 2010

The Rudd Labor Government has reintroduced aviation security regulations that prevent people from accessing a plane’s cockpit unless they have an operational, safety, security or training need to be there.

These regulations close a dangerous loophole in our aviation security laws and are part of the Government’s comprehensive plan to strengthen aviation security on domestic and international flights.

We are taking these steps to restrict cockpit access and safeguard Australian travellers based on advice from aviation security experts.

Currently, there are no effective legal restrictions on who can enter the cockpit of an aircraft.

It is unacceptable that such an important part of aviation security has been left to industry self-regulation in the past.

By restricting access to a cockpit, the Government is taking a strong, practical and common sense approach to strengthen the last line of defence against unlawful interference with a plane.

Aviation security should be a bipartisan issue, but similar regulations to these were voted down by the Opposition in the Senate in September last year.

The Christmas Day incident on a United-States bound Northwest Airlines flight demonstrated the need for ongoing vigilance and preventive measures to safeguard against unlawful interference with aviation.

The regulations will commence on 22 May 2010.

These regulations implement policies from the National Aviation Policy White Paper and support the Rudd Labor Government’s $200 million aviation security package, announced in February to respond to emerging threats.