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Airside security to be beefed up

AAP logoAAP 1/12/2016

The federal government is beefing up security at airports to counter the threat of attacks from insiders, such as cleaners and baggage handlers.

A new model to strengthen airside security at Australia's nine major international airports was introduced to parliament on Thursday, including measures to randomly screen people and vehicles entering certain areas.

Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester told MPs the bombing of Metrojet Flight 9268 in Egypt last year and the attempted bombing of Daallo Airlines Flight 159 in Somalia in February highlighted the growing threat to the global aviation environment.

Airport workers such as baggage handlers, caterers, cleaners and engineers have special access to passenger aircraft so they can do their jobs, he said.

"However, there is potential for this access to be exploited, either willingly or through coercion, to facilitate an attack against a passenger aircraft."

The proposed laws extend existing powers to allow security screening of people, vehicles and goods operating inside a restricted area - not just before they enter an airside zone.

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