Explosive Trace Detection testing at Newcastle Airport - Airport_News

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.
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