Regional Express Airlines (REX) say removing security screening for its passengers at Dubbo airport would place no more risk on passengers than boarding a bus or a train.
REX is currently campaigning for the removal of airport security screening at the Dubbo airport.
The Daily Liberal asked a REX spokesperson if security screening was removed for REX, who would be responsible if a passenger boarded one of its SAAB 340 aircraft with a pair of box cutters or a similar weapon and caused chaos?
The spokesperson said REX was not responsible for deciding what security was appropriate, but the security regulator decides what security measures are appropriate for the prevailing threat environment.
"Security screening is predicated on aircraft weight and the SAAB 340 aircraft operated by REX does not fall into the regulatory weight category requiring security screening," the spokesperson said.
"The same principle applies and could be said for passengers who board a bus or a train.
"A bus leaving from a bus stop owned by Dubbo Regional Council does not mean that the council, bus operator or bus depot would, therefore, be responsible for the behaviour of passengers on board the bus."
The REX spokesperson argued there could be more fatalities on a train than on a REX aircraft.
"Yet the current risk assessment is that there does not need to have security screening at train stations. Similarly, the current risk assessment is that there need not be any screening for REX flights," the spokesperson said.
Dubbo Regional Council deputy mayor Stephen Lawrence said Dubbo passengers currently have the additional comfort of knowing that all passengers are security screened at the airport.
"That has been in place for several years now, and it would no doubt cause some community discomfort if all of a sudden it was removed," he said.
But, the REX spokesperson said it was impossible to remove all risk in daily life.
"The only solution is to accept some risk exists in everyday life, but to reduce it to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable. All federal agencies in the world adopt this approach and make regulations based on a risk assessment approach," the spokesperson said.
"REX complies with all security screening requirements and will continue to do so if and when regulations change.
"However, as existing regulations dictate that security screening is not required for REX aircraft, we call on all councils to avoid imposing unnecessary security levies that will ultimately be passed to passengers by way of the increased ticket price."
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