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Old 30-01-2007, 05:36 AM   #1
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Default New probe into airport security failure

New probe into airport security failure

The federal government will investigate whether a recent serious incident at Sydney Airport warrants tightening security, Transport Minister Mark Vaile says.

Hundreds of passengers were sent back through security on Sunday night after a man reportedly barged past staff at the domestic departures' X-ray point for passengers and hand luggage.

He disappeared into the secure area of the T2 terminal and an extensive search failed to find any trace of him.

After about two hours passengers were allowed back into the cleared departure area to board flights which had been suspended.

The Inspector of Transport Security, Mick Palmer, would conduct the investigation into the security breach, Mr Vaile said.

"I have asked Mr Palmer to undertake an immediate review of the incident and report back to me," Mr Vaile said.

"The incident involved a suspected screening failure and the evacuation of the departure terminal beyond the screening point.

"Mr Palmer's review will focus on all the security procedures and processes that came into play during the incident with a view to advising me if any improvements or changes to the security regime at the airport are necessary."

Transport Workers Union secretary Tony Sheldon said yesterday the government owed an explanation to airport staff, whose lives are endangered by such security breaches.

The incident was the latest in a string of security failures at Sydney Airport, he said.

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