AFP Airport Operations

AFP Airport Operations officers provide a uniformed policing presence at the nine  designated Australian airports - Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Uniformed policing

AFP Airport Operations officers provide immediate response to policing matters within the airport precincts. This includes attending to general community policing issues such as:

  • investigating minor criminal matters
  • patrols
  • enforcing Commonwealth law, including the application of local state/territory laws
  • taking reports of offences
  • making arrests
  • conducting interviews
  • subsequent judicial processing.

Specialist Policing

The AFP Airport Operations officers also provide a coordinated approach to the deterrence of and response to terrorist threats at Australia's major airports. These officers respond to threats of terrorism in the aviation environment.

AFP Airport Operations officers, specifically Bomb Appraisal Officers (BAO) and firearms and explosive-detection teams, undertake planned activities to deter terrorist and criminal threats. Activities may include firearms and explosives detection checks on passenger luggage or targeted sweeps of airport areas to search for improvised explosive devices.

BAOs are specially trained AFP Airport Operations officers, who are able to search for, locate, identify and confirm the presence of explosive materials, or improvised explosive devices. The four-week training course undertaken by AFP Airport Operations officers to qualify as a BAO is recognised by the Australian and New Zealand National Counter Terrorism Committee (ANZNCTC).

Firearms and explosive-detection teams, each consisting of one dog and a handler, provide a highly mobile and unobtrusive explosives detection capability. Firearms and explosive-detection dogs have the ability to detect a range of military and commercial explosives mixtures and weapons. The teams conduct regular firearms and explosives searches at major airport terminals and aviation facilities, as well as searches of aircraft, baggage and freight.

In the event of a terrorist incident, the AFP Airport Operations role is to:

  • contain the incident
  • cordon the immediate area
  • evacuate people who may be in danger
  • collect relevant information
  • provide on-going support in resolving the incident, under the command of the Airport Police Commander
  • investigate.

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Budget 2017-18

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