Smooth first trial for airport security

DEPARTING passengers on both Rex and QantasLink flights were happy to undertake voluntary screening at Dubbo airport yesterday as staff underwent training for Monday's obligatory start to security checks.

Dubbo City Council's director of corporate development, Ken Rogers, said passengers on two early morning flights were happy to play guinea pigs for the security staff undergoing their training.

He said there were a couple of minor teething issues in the screening but otherwise it ran smoothly.

"It took about 30 seconds for each passenger to pass through the screening system," Mr Rogers said.

He said the only serious alert was when a miner from the west of the region passed through and the screening equipment picked up traces of explosive chemicals on his clothing.

MSS Security trainer, Paul Holiday said by tomorrow the staff employed to run the security scanning system would receive their national qualification. He said the training had progressed well for all of the staff.

Mr Rogers said on Monday all passengers and their luggage flying from Dubbo were required to be screened.

He said the council would be sticking to its decision to screen passengers on QantasLink and Rex.

Mr Rogers and the mayor, Mathew Dickerson will be meeting with the Rex board and its chairman today in Sydney but he expected the council would hold to its decision.

He said if there were to be a change, the council's transport safety plan would need reconfiguring and need re-approval with the Office of Transport Safety.

He said the plan had been finalised to ensure Dubbo was eligible to become a category three airport.

If the council decided to change the screening process it would have to not only create a non-sterile area within the terminal but also on the apron to ensure non-scanned passengers could not mingle with screened passengers, he said.

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