The Security Screening Process
Aviation security is something which is taken very seriously. Federal Government legislation requires Cairns Airport to screen passengers and all other people entering airport departure lounges. The security screening process is designed to ensure prohibited items and weapons are not taken into the lounges or other airside area or on board an aircraft. The consequences of this occurring include delayed departures, terminal evacuations and possible legal action.
The security screening process includes compulsory x-ray screening of personal cabin luggage and walk through metal detector screening of all people, possible hand scanning with a metal detector for those not initially cleared by the walk through metal detector, random bag searches and a random explosive trace detection process. Body scanners are now in place in the T1 (International) departure area and passengers or others seeking access into the departure area are selected on a’ random continuous’ basis to undergo this process. Persons who refuse to undergo this will be referred to additional processes and unless there are legitimate reasons (for example a medical reason) access into the lounge may be prohibited for 24 hours unless the individual submits to this process.
The explosive trace detection process is designed to check that a person being screened has not come in contact with explosives, or chemicals that are used in explosive compounds. The selection of people to undergo this process is on a ‘random continuous’ basis , and those people selected for this screening MUST undergo this part of the screening requirement. Refusal to undergo any part of the screening process will mean you will not be able to enter the departure lounge and possibly not fly.
In addition to these processes passengers and people accessing Cairns Airport’s T1 (International) departures lounge, whether transit passengers from overseas or departing passengers from Cairns are also subjected to screening for Liquids Aerosols and Gel (LAG) items. This process is designed to screen people and their cabin luggage for explosives that may be contained within liquid, aerosol and gel compounds. This part of the screening process may also include a random pat down search of the person.
Electrical items such as mobile phones, digital cameras, MP3 players and laptop computers are allowed within the departure lounges and in the cabin of aircraft and should be packed within your cabin luggage. Passengers must adhere to all requirements for these devices to be switched off during boarding and in-flight. Personal electrical items e.g. hair dryers and tongs may also be carried, however tong replacement cartridges may not be carried. When passing through Security Screening Laptop Computers and Portable DVD players need to be removed from your cabin luggage or from their cases to be screened separately.
Liquids Aerosols & Gels Screening
The screening for liquids, aerosols and gels (LAG’s) was introduced in March 2007 by the Australian Federal Government at all Australian International departure and transit screening point (Cairns T1) to comply with International Civil Aviation Organisation recommendations and standards in an effort to assist in minimising the likelihood of explosive materials contained within certain LAG items being taken into International departure lounges and aircraft cabins. The screening for LAG products is not currently undertaken .
What are you allowed to take?
Knowing what is allowed and what is not allowed before you arrive could save you, and other passengers, time and inconvenience. Any LAG item you wish to take into the lounge or within the cabin of an aircraft must be in an adequate container; however containers cannot be over 100ml. They also need to be carried in a transparent and re-sealable bag measuring no more than 200mm x 200mm or of a size not exceeding 800mm in total diameter. Bags and general information are available at the International Terminal check in area for your convenience. Passengers and people seeking access into the International Departure lounge are restricted to one bag only.
Duty Free Liquid Aerosol and Gel Items may be taken into departure lounges and the cabin of aircraft if they are first subjected to the screening process. Duty Free items must be presented in a clear, sealed security tamper evident bag provided by the Duty Free outlet and contain proof of purchase docket. If the Duty Free item fails to clear the screening process it will need to be surrendered.
Surrendered items are subject to Federal Government Regulations. Cairns Airport Pty Ltd, as the ‘Screening Authority’ is prohibited from returning items to passengers.
You are welcome to take drinks in cans, bottles, plastic containers and cartons, as long as the containers are 100mm in size or less. Empty water bottles may be taken through the security screening point and filled up at water fountains within the departure lounge. Once through the security screening point you can buy drinks in the departure lounge to take on to the aircraft.
You can carry foodstuffs in your cabin luggage; however, foods in sauces or with a high liquid content (such as sauces, pastes, soups and stews) need to go in a transparent bag, along with your drinks. Each item cannot exceed 100ml. Items that reduce to a liquid at room temperature are also subject to these restrictions for example certain cheeses or frozen foodstuffs. It is advisable to check with your airline on what they allow and the Department of Agriculture (DAFF) regarding the removal of certain foodstuffs from Australia.
Medicines and medical equipment
Prescribed medicines: There are exemptions for prescription medicines; however it is advisable to ensure they are in the original chemist supplied containers with the prescription attached. Whilst exemptions apply, only the required amount for the flight’s duration and possible delays should be taken into the aircraft cabin. Screening staff may discuss this with you during the screening process.
Non–prescribed medicines: These are allowed but again the quantity must be consistent with the journey and what may be reasonably required during flight and a possible delay. Products required for the flight must be kept in a transparent, resealable bag. Certainly an amount to cover a week’s travel would not meet the ‘reasonable amounts’ test applied to this and what is not required during the flight should be packed in checked luggage.
Medical equipment; Certain medical applicators such as syringes, vials and medicine cartridges, insulin pens etc. are allowed. However screening staff will require proof from you for instance, medical certificates, a doctor’s letter or prescriptions should you need to carry these items.
The restrictions on LAG items includes baby products. Only carry what you need for the trip. Wet wipes and powdered baby food are fine. Additional foodstuffs for babies may include but are not limited to baby milk, sterilised water, juice and any other baby food in liquid, gel or paste form.
Duty Free Goods
These items may be purchased inside the departure lounge after the security screening process. Items purchased off airport must be packed in your checked luggage.
Cosmetics and toiletries
You may take solid deodorants, lipsticks, brushes, combs and toothbrushes on
board. The following products are limited to 100ml, and must also go in a transparent bag, along with drinks and liquid-based products:
- Hairspray and other aerosol items
- Roll-on deodorants
- Sun-tanning products
- Lip gloss or lip balms
- Liquid soap
- Contact lens solution
Cigarettes and other tobacco products are all allowed in hand baggage. Please note some airlines do not allow matches or lighters in either checked or cabin luggage, please check with your carrier. Australian Government regulations prohibit smoking inside the terminal buildings (other than prescribed areas) and on board aircraft.
International Mobile Phone Use
Passengers are advised to follow the suggestions provided by the Australian Communications & Media Authority to avoid incurring excessive mobile phone data bills during an overseas trip.