Newcastle Airport has undergone significant changes in the past 12 months, courtesy of our terminal expansion. These changes include moving the security screening point to a new location which allows you, our travellers, and your friends and family, to pass through security screening and enjoy the spacious new departure lounge while you await your flight. 

The new security screening point location also allows for the Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) testing to take place at the start of the screening process and to test up to three people at a time. 

The new process has raised a few questions; let us answer them for you below: 

Why am I being selected for the testing with two other people? 
Under new legislation, it is a requirement for ETD testing to be completed using batching. This requires up to three people to be selected for ETD testing at one time. 

What happens if someone in the group of three people being tested alarms? 
If during the batch testing process there is an alarm that occurs, each person is required to be tested individually. If at any stage there is a requirement for additional security checks, security screening officers will explain these requirements during the testing process. 

Do any other airports do batch testing at the front of screening? 
This front of screening ETD process is in place at Melbourne International Airport and at Hobart Airport. All airports are required to conduct batch-testing, but each airport is able to choose if it takes place and the front or back of the screening process. This decision is usually made based on the layout and available space at each airport. 

Why is the ETD process at the front of screening rather than after, like most other airports? 
The Australian Government recently changed the legislation that governs ETD testing locations at passenger screening points in Australia. The change came after a significant trial process at both capital city and regional airports. The change gives airports flexibility to decide where they conduct ETD testing. At Newcastle, we’ve decided it’s best for us to test at the front of screening for the reasons listed below. 

Why did it change? 
Newcastle Airport decided to change the location of the ETD testing to the front of the screening process for the following reasons: 

  1. It allows more people to be screened via ETD which enhances security and safety outcomes for all who travel, visit, and work at Newcastle Airport 
    Front of screening ETD testing allows for up to three people to be tested at once, rather than only one person being selected at a time, as was the case with the old system. At Newcastle Airport front of screening is more time-efficient as the new location of the testing area provides an opportunity to fast track people who are selected for testing to the front of a screening lane to counteract any inconvenience with being selected for testing. 
  2. Elimination of security area breaches
    Moving ETD testing to the front of the screening point eliminates the risk of a person refusing to go through the ETD testing process and walking into the security area (ie departures lounge). Having the front of screening point ETD testing removes any operational issues and delays associated with this scenario. 
  3. It will enable reduced costs and better resourcing for the security screening point
    Front of screening ETD testing only requires one ETD unit and one guard to perform the testing for multiple lanes. This in turn reduces the costs for security screening, allowing the airlines who pay for the service to keep ticket costs low for passengers flying from the airport.
Leave a comment

You may also like :

Latest posts:

Monthly check in:July 2017-Airport_news


for the month




Passenger growth in July 2017 increased by 5.2% compared to the same month last year. This was supported by strong growth on all major routes. The blended load factor for all major carriers was 77.2%.    


passengers for the
calendar year-to-date 




Year-to-date passenger numbers reached 724,111, up 6.8% compared toe the same period in the previous year. Additional seats on all major routes were the main contributors to this figure.

Financial year-on-year comparison

Total passengers (arrivals / departures)

Becoming international ready-Airport_news

In 2016 Newcastle Airport received notification that its application for a Restart NSW grant had been successful. This $855,000 grant will be used towards the funding of the $1.6 million fit-out for the border agency requirements. Until now, Newcastle Airport had only the dedicated terminal space for international passenger processing, not the necessary infrastructure to be able to have international flights to-and-from the airport.

In April, Newcastle Airport announced Hunter-based builder, Kingston Building had been awarded the $1.6 million project. This project involved the installation of the necessary security technology, IT technology, passenger screening equipment, and furniture for the border agencies. Now complete, ahead of schedule which is a credit to Kingston Building  who's managers saw the project executed  to the highest standard with no lost time to injury, ensuring it came in ahead of schedule and ahead of budget.

And, while we haven't got any announcements on the horizon about direct flights to new destinations just yet, here is a sneak peek below of what you can expect when we do get to use our new facilities. You will see we're international ready for when an airline says YES!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this mean that international flights will start right away?

We wish we could say with certainty yes. But, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.
Completing this project doesn’t guarantee international flights will start from Newcastle Airport in the near future. But, what it does mean is that from an infrastructure perspective, we have done everything we need to do to prepare our terminal in readiness for international fights.
You can read more about what we’re doing behind the scenes to bring more services to Newcastle here  

Will I get to use the new facilities when I fly domestically?

No. Our new facilities will only be used fro international departures and arrivals.

How is this project funded?

This project has been partly funded through the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Fund and by Newcastle Airport.

Where will you fly to first?

That is a good question and one we are working hard to answer! We are looking at short-haul destinations like Fiji and Bali or New Zealand. It's a long race we're running but we are committed to doing everything we can to bring new services, both domestic and international, to Newcastle Airport to give our region an airport it deserves.

I hate sitting in Sydney traffic, how do I fly out of Newcastle overseas?

We couldn’t agree with you more! That Sydney freeway trip can really take its toll. If you were keen on starting your trip from Newcastle we can hub to more 65 destinations world-wide in just one stop.

Byron Bay is winning at winter-Airport_news

Fancy leaving the chill of winter to holiday on some of the best stretch of coast Northern NSW has to offer?

Catch a plane to Byron this season and you’ll be in paradise in no time. With average winter temperatures around 19 degrees and clear sunny days this cosmopolitan spot is the perfect place to soak up some rays and explore a region that is rich in culture and diversity.

What’s more winter is the perfect time to enjoy a spot of whale watching as Australian east coast humpbacks migrate.

Flying makes quick work of the 800 kilometre trip, leaving you to enjoy your break and the get the most from all that Byron has to offer. This easternmost point of the Australia is famous for its beaches, surf breaks, sunrises, fishing and green hills. But there’s so much more to the area. It’s a foodies dream, from market stalls to high-end restaurants Byron boasts outstanding local produce.

With a host of scenic walks, meditation retreats, regular festivals, shopping and entertainment a trip to Byron will leave you feeling truly inspired.

In fact, the chances are you may never want to leave Byron’s blissed-out buzz, yet there are loads of interesting places within an hour’s drive, not least beautiful Ballina.

This bustling town offers stunning beaches, endless waterside attractions and some of the best local seafood you’re likely to find. With 25 kilometres of cycleways along the beautiful Richmond river, kayak tours, river cruises and heritage walks its captivating scenery can be enjoyed at any pace. Visit Macadamia Castle for some family fun, delve your way through the Ballina markets or saddle-up and take a horse ride along the beach.

With some great packages currently on offer from Pelican Travel, your winter blues may have just turned a warmer hue.

Splendour in the Grass –  July 21 to July 23 
Byron Bay Writer’s Festival – August 4 to August 6
The Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival – August 11 to August 12
Ballina Market – 3rd Sunday of every month
Quota Club of Astonville Craft and Garden Fair – Balllina August 26  to August 27
Sample Food Festival – Bangalow Showgrounds


Ballina is just 5 minutes from Ballina Byron Gateway Airport and Byron is under 30 minutes drive.
FlyPelican has six direct flights a week from Newcastle to Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, with flights from $99. 
Flight time is 1 hour 30 minutes.
Looking for all-inclusive? Byron Bay
 packages are available through Pelican Travel. You could enjoy a winter getaway at the luxurious Byron at Byron, with airport transfers to the resort and return flights Ex-Newcastle from $549 per-person.

Why do people love Byron bay so much? Read on to find out our top five reasons to love Byron

*This article first published in the Newcastle Herald 

Monthly check in: June 2017-Airport_news


for the month




Passenger growth in June 2017 increased by 6.2% compared to the same month last year. This was supported by additional seats on all major routes. The blended load factor for all major carriers was 75%.


passengers for the
year to date (FY)




Financial year passenger numbers reached 1.257 million, up 6.6% compared to last financial year. Positive growth from all major airlines and new routes to Coffs Harbour and Dubbo during the year were the main contributors for this record figure.

Financial year-on-year comparison

Total passengers (arrivals / departures)

Contact Us

Why not stay up to date?

Your use of this website is governed by the Disclaimer. We will only use your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy.