Aviation Security Enhancement Program

Aviation Security Enhancement Program

Our role at airports is changing. The Aviation Security Enhancement Program (ASEP) is delivering improved aviation security at Australia's nine designated airports; Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Cairns, Gold Coast and Perth.

The ASEP will increase the number of AFP officers at airports, enhance training of our members and aviation stakeholders, increase intelligence capability and provide specialist technical advice and training around chemical and explosive risks.

What you will see

From December 2019, you’ll see more uniformed officers patrolling Australian designated airports with the rollout of our new Protection Operations Response Teams (PORTs).

While these teams won’t affect your travel time through an airport, they’ll be there to perform a dedicated Counter Terrorist First Response (CTFR) role and conduct targeted operations to detect, prevent and deter criminality in airports.

Our officers are highly trained in the use and carriage of short-barrelled rifles (SBRs), behavioural assessment, hostile reconnaissance detection and incident management. The PORTs will include  Rapid Appraisal Officers who provide assessment of potential explosive threats, and canine handlers with Firearm and Explosive Detection Dogs.

Airport officers will also be equipped with Body Worn Cameras (BWC) to enable them to accurately capture their responses to a critical incident, while also acting as a deterrent for those considering unlawful activity. BWCs will be worn overtly, and you will be notified when they are recording.

What you won’t see

AFP Intelligence officers embedded at each of the designated airports are working behind the scenes to inform the work of the PORTs and share intelligence with industry partners and our major Australian airlines.

Our Forensics team are providing specialist technical advice and training around chemical and explosive risks in the aviation environment. They work closely with the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group and other international partners to facilitate the exchange of intelligence, capability and best practice.

Our specialist trainers are delivering contemporary aviation-specific programs to further develop AFP members, government and industry staff, and build joint operational capability within the aviation security sector.

Why the change?

In 2017, a plot to deploy an improvised explosive device on an Australian passenger aircraft was foiled by the AFP and our partners. Commonly known as Operation Silves, this incident identified areas where aviation security could be improved.

In May 2018, the Minister for Home Affairs announced the New Policy Initiative (NPI) – Strengthening Aviation Precinct Security as a measure of the 2018-19 Commonwealth Budget.

As part of the NPI, the Government pledged $107 million over four years to the AFP to strengthen and enhance our current aviation security capability at Australia's nine designated airports.
This led to the establishment of the ASEP that is delivering four distinct capabilities:

  • Enhanced CTFR through establishing PORTs
  • Aviation Collaborative Development Hub (Training)
  • Australian Explosive Detection Capability (Forensics)
  • Aviation Protection Assessment Team (Intelligence)

What you can do

If you see anything suspicious at an airport, call 131 AFP or speak to one of our officers who can assess and respond.

If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2021-22

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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