| 02.08,19. 03:02 AM |
Fake improvised explosive devices slip through regional airport security
Serious security deficiencies have been uncovered at Townsville Airport, with fake bombs passing through screening undetected.
In April this year aviation inspectors, with Home Affairs, conducted what is known as red teaming tests.
Two fake improvised explosive devices passed through without being spotted by staff. Last month another device slipped through without anyone noticing.
Terrorism expert Neil Fergus says the breaches are a serious concern.
"It's a key regional airport and anything that indicates an IED can get through the aviation logistics chain should cause us great concern."
Security at Townsville airport is controlled by ISS Australia which touts itself as a world leader of airport security services. In a statement the company said it understood "the extremely important responsibility of providing safe airports and would continue to work with authorities to meet the highest levels of compliance".
Townsville airport boss Kevin Gill also issued a statement confirming an "independent audit" had been ordered into ISS systems "following some testing issues".
Dr John Coyne is a security specialist with Australian Strategic Policy
institute. He takes some comfort in the fact the tests uncovered a weakness.
"When it comes down to threat, the sorts of people who do us harm, whether they are criminals or terrorists, are themselves always innovating. They are trying to find new ways to defeat our security systems so it's important these tests happen."
An Australian Border Force spokesperson told 9News that Home Affairs would not comment on the outcome of individual tests but said they were communicated to airports, and used to identify if additional training or other measures were required.
The Federal Government has previously announced it will spend $50 million to upgrade security at regional