Federal authorities in charge of airport security are considering some major overhauls to the way airport security is conducted at domestic Australian airports - and the news doesn’t look too good for business travellers.
Amid concerns that smugglers and criminals are able to move easily through Australian domestic airports with false identifications and e-tickets, police have advised a federal parliamentary committee that airport security in domestic Australian airports is not rigorous enough.
The chairman of of the committee discussing the issues, Senator Steve Hutchins, was “surprised at the rapid development” of e-ticketing and self-check-in and just how easily it can be misused by “organised crime figures”.
While e-ticketing is by far the most popular method of distribution for airline tickets these days and self-check-in is growing in popularity, these latest security concerns do not bode well for the services.
The issue lies in the fact that electronic check-in can allow passengers to check-in, print a boarding pass and check baggage without being identified first - while this is helpful for frequent travellers, the Australian Federal Police Association sees it as a major loophole that is being exploited by criminals.
A growing number of airlines allow passengers to check-in themselves, rather than dealing with a customer service agent. Qantas’ still rolling-out ‘Next-Generation’ check-in system is one such service that would be directly affected by any changes to this area of the law.
A Qantas spokesperson stated that such a change would be inconvenient for passengers - an understatement to say the least, considering the sudden increase in time spent at the airport if all passengers had to be checked-in by airline staff.
While currently no decisions on the subject have been made yet, the rhetoric seems to support the adoption of stronger security measures for domestic airports in Australia, at the expense of efficiency, ease and convenience for business travellers.