The Australian newspaper and the Australian Associated Press report today on the Australian government’s plans to step up the country’s investment in aviation security in a number of areas. The most notable investment is a stepped up commitment to air cargo security:
The Government will spend $48 million over four years on strengthening the security measures for international and domestic airports by increasing the amount of cargo under inspection. New X-ray machines will be installed and more dog detector teams brought in for explosives.
While cargo passing through the major cargo depots and the international airports has previously been screened for traces of explosives, the Government will spend $11 million in the coming financial year on extending the security technology to the major domestic airports.
Customs will also be $13million over four years to continue expanding the use of bomb trace technology at major airports and to increase the training for cargo handling workers.
In addition, the government’s proposal pays for new activities related to the credentialing of aviation and maritime workers, airport-based counterterrorism response teams, more uniformed police at airports, and improved perimeter security.
Overall, a sensible set of measures, and ones that U.S. officials should monitor closely as they wrestle with some of these same issues, most notably the challenge of developing an effective and efficient air cargo security regime.