People arriving in Australia face tighter security at airports as part of a four-year programme to introduce more sophisticated screening for passengers.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has announced that new screening technology will be put in place for passengers and their baggage at international and regional airports.


The new security measures will include the use of body scanners and advanced X-ray equipment at major and regional Australian airports, he confirmed.

In particular there will be financial help for regional airports which are regarded as being less secure. Currently, there is no mandatory screening of passengers when a plane weighs less than 20 tonnes, meaning travellers can arrive at major capital city airports unchecked.

In some regional airports, there are carriers flying larger jets that have to scan their passengers, while competitors with smaller jets flying exactly the same routes do not have to.

There will be an extra AFP Counter Terrorist First Response officers at airports and a further 50 officers to provide tactical intelligence and other support alongside more training and accreditation of all screening staff at airports.

'I will introduce new laws to complement these measures providing the AFP broader powers to conduct identity checks at airports and to order a person to move on from airport premises where needed,' Dutton said.

There will be also be $6.9 million in funds provided over two years to continue the work of Australian Border Force Airline Liaison Officers (ALOs) at 19 key overseas international airports.

Dutton explained that ALOs are highly skilled in document examination, impostor detection and passenger assessment. They provide airlines and local governments on the spot advice on passenger assessment and Australia's entry requirements.

He revealed that in the past five years ALOs have stopped more than 1,000 passengers who have attempted to board a flight to Australia as an impostor or with a fraudulent document.