Airport security is installed in time

KEIR TUNBRIDGEAlbany Advertiser

The City of Albany successfully installed the Government-required upgrades to security screening at Albany Regional Airport by Sunday’s deadline.

Office of Transport Security personnel inspected the new screening services early last week, before a final inspection on Sunday.

Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said all the required tests had been passed for the airport to become a “band five” certified facility and congratulated staff on working to a tight time frame.

Mr Wellington said the City had been informed of the July 1 deadline in February, which had left very little time.

“We passed our test yesterday with flying colours, so it’s a magnificent achievement as far as staff is concerned, ” he said.

The City was forced to erect a separate temporary demountable building to house the new security equipment and hold passengers who had gone through screening.

Nine mostly-local staff from security provider MSS have been employed to operate the equipment, which includes a walk-through metal detector and explosive trace detection.

Six staff will be on duty at any one time.

An x-ray machine for baggage is expected to be installed in the next month, which would move the airport to “band four” and improve amenity for passengers, according to acting City chief executive Linda Hill.

Ms Hill said the approximate cost of the upgrades was $600,000, but costs were still being finalised.

Some of the cost would be recouped through grants, including a $200,000 Federal allocation.

About $4 million has been allocated to further airport upgrades in the current City budget.

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