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What you need to know about security changes for Melbourne Airport Check-In

The security changes for Melbourne Airport come with the introduction of additional aviation security measures at airports around Australia, including Melbourne Airport, in the wake of a terror plot to bring down a domestic flight from Sydney.

A two-hour check-in time for domestic travellers in Australia will become the new normal after authorities in Sydney foiled a suspected terror plot. #Internationaltravellers should arrive three hours before their flight departure time.

Prime Minister Turnbull said measures put in place at Sydney Airport had now been extended to all major airports at domestic and international terminals around the country.

These airports include Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart.

As a result passengers are being asked to allow about an hour more than normal to make both domestic and international flights.

How Do Airport Scanners Check your Bag

How Do Airport Scanners Check your Bag

Photo credit: Anne Worner on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Passengers travelling domestic are being asked to arrive at least two hours before their flight, while international passengers are being asked to arrive at least three hours before.

Passengers can expect extra scrutiny and delays when passing through security screening and should limit carry on and checked luggage to ensure efficiency and timely screenings.

At this stage there are no changes to what can and cannot be carried on-board aircrafts.

Qantas has released a travel update in relation to new security measures recently put in place.

The Australian Federal Police Commissioner said they had no reason to believe that airport security had been ‘compromised’ but a heightened state of security has now been implemented.

Aviation security is a combination of human and material resources to safeguard civil aviation against unlawful interference. Unlawful interference could be acts of terrorism, sabotage, a threat to life and property, communication of false threat, bombing etc.

The Use of Scanners

Airport scanners create a 3D image of what’s inside each bag to check if a bag is safe to be able to fly.

Firstly, a bag will go through an automated x-ray analysis. These machines are sophisticated and will illuminate the bag from various angles with various energies. All different materials are represented with different colours.  Metal, for example, tends to appear blue; organic materials – orange; lighter metals – green.

This will then be interpreted automatically by the advanced software whether the bag has an undue amount of metal or organic material.

Security operators will also look for unusual shapes in a bag, wires etc.  Normally, luggage is mostly filled with clothes and you may have the odd laptop and batteries.

Something like a bomb would likely to show up as a lump of organic material.  High explosives tend to show as orange on the scan.

Some airports also have CT (computed tomography) scanning technology, similar to those scanners found in a hospital.

This scanner will slice through the luggage.  This will ensure that if security is in doubt they can then take a slice every few millimetres through and have a closer look.

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