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14 April 2023, 12:37pm
Media Release

Travellers warned not to pack weapons for holiday flights

Editor’s note: Audio grabs and images are available via Hightail

Holidaymakers travelling through Adelaide Airport these school holidays are being warned to leave weapons at home, with a concerning number of knives, knuckle dusters and other banned items detected in baggage in recent months. 

AFP Sergeant Paul Everingham said 35 credit card knives had been found on passengers or in carry-on luggage at departure screening points since November (2022) which was a worrying trend. 

“Regardless of its configuration, it is an offence to carry a knife in a public place, including in the airport and on planes,” he said. 

“The maximum penalty for this offence is a $2500 fine or six months’ imprisonment.” 

Ammunition, spud guns, gel blasters and knuckle dusters are among the other items confiscated from passengers in recent months, as the AFP works with air industry partners to keep travellers safe. 

Sergeant Everingham also reminded travellers to behave responsibly and said the AFP would boost its visibility at Adelaide Airport to coincide with the anticipated increase in travellers. 

“It’s a busy time for South Australia with the start of school holidays and other events occurring across the state,” he said. 

“We are well-prepared in anticipation of the increased passenger volume and will increase patrols and operations during this time. 

“We have recently seen some disturbing and unacceptable behaviour across AFP-designated airports where travellers have shown complete disregard for fellow passengers and airline staff. 

“We are aware that high passenger volumes, combined with longer waiting periods, can lead to an increase in disruptive or anti-social behaviour.  

“The AFP is encouraging the public to be patient with unexpected delays and follow the advice of airline staff.”  

Since November, the AFP has charged 226 people with 304 offences at AFP-protected airports across Australia, 14 of them charged over incidents at Adelaide Airport. 

The allegations range from intoxicated or offensive behaviour, public disturbance and assault to possessing prohibited items and theft.  

AFP officers responded to 429 aviation-related incidents involving alcohol across Australia over the same period. 

Sergeant Everingham encouraged travellers to refrain from excessive alcohol consumption to ensure the safety of fellow passengers and airline staff.  

“Although consumption of alcohol on planes and at airports is not illegal, we are asking the public to be mindful of how much alcohol they consume,” he said.  

“People who are unruly on aircraft should understand that this may mean they will not be allowed to travel, which will impact their holiday plans and also impact fellow passengers.”  

The AFP is working with airlines, airports and regulatory authorities to help ensure a safe environment for passengers. 

Adelaide Airport Managing Director Brenton Cox said April would be Adelaide Airport’s busiest month since pre-COVID, with a combination of school holidays, AFL Gather Round and the LIV Golf tournament.

“The AFP does a wonderful job keeping our customers safe and secure, and in return we hope travellers can do the right thing, remain patient and calm, and be respectful towards other airport users and staff,” he said.

The AFP also encourages the public to call Airport Watch on 131 237 if they see or hear something unusual while working or travelling through one of Australia's major airports.  

Airport Watch plays an important role within aviation security. It delivers critical information to the AFP to enhance the detection and resolution of suspicious or criminal activity at airports.   

Suspicious activity or unusual behaviour includes:

  • A person observed displaying an unusually keen interest in security procedures;  
  • A person observed recording or taking photos in or around sensitive areas of the airport;  
  • Anyone acting strangely or in an unusual manner;  
  • Anyone heard asking questions to gain information about the airport; and  
  • Anyone trying to gain unauthorised access to secure areas.  

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AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297  

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