Aviation Security Branch
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The Aviation Security Branch provides policy advice to the Australian Government on aviation security, set standards for aviation security measures, and tests, monitors and evaluates compliance with those standards, policies and procedures consistent with the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005.
In support of the above, and in consultation with other relevant agencies and the aviation industry, the Branch also:
- Liaises with intelligence agencies to develop risk-based standards for security measures, and to coordinate the provision of appropriate intelligence advice to the aviation industry; and
- Provides advice on, and conducts reviews of, aviation security policies and legislation, seeking consistency with international obligations.
Aviation security is designed to safeguard Australia's civil aviation operations against “acts of unlawful interference”
Both the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and the Department of Infrastructure and Transport are responsible for the development and implementation of a national framework of consistent aviation security measures.
The Minister has the Commonwealth portfolio responsibility for the aviation security function, and ultimate responsibility for national aviation security.
The Aviation Security Branch in the Department is responsible for the administration of the aviation security provisions of the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005.
The Branch evaluates compliance through monitoring and testing the performance of aviation security outcomes by industry and associated agencies, which are aimed at the deterrence, detection and prevention of attempted acts of unlawful interference through:
- policy development and implementation based on sound risk assessment and risk management practices;
- the development and introduction of aviation security standards via legislation. The standards are designed to consider Australia's aviation security risk and also to implement international (ICAO Annex 17) standards;
- responding to increased threat and risk advice through the implementation of additional security measures as appropriate;
- evaluating compliance with Australian aviation security standards by airline, airport and international cargo regulated agents performance (personnel, systems and equipment) including feedback/follow up advice to improve performance, via an industry and Branch compliance program.
- disseminating appropriate intelligence advice to the aviation industry
- oversighting aviation security exercises to improve industry and other aviation users ability and skills to respond to aviation security incidents, and increasing overall airport security awareness
- maintaining and further improving a system to be consistent with ICAO standards in Annex 17 governing the carriage of cargo, mail and other goods.
The Department participates in international aviation security policy formulation through its membership on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Aviation Security Panel.
The Panel generally meets every two years and consists of aviation representatives from around the world with the aim of supporting initiatives to maintain and develop effective aviation security measures to be consistently applied worldwide. These measures are known as Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
SARPs are endorsed by member States through the ICAO process and are then incorporated into Annex 17 to the Chicago Convention. Member States are obliged to implement Standards in the Annex unless they have filed a difference with ICAO whereas recommended practices are discretionary.
In developing its position for proposed changes to the Annex, the Department consults both with the Australian aviation industry and other overseas regulatory bodies.
The purpose of the Aviation Security Risk Context Statement (AVSRCS) is to provide the aviation industry with information on the aviation strategic risk context and the current security environment in Australia.
Aviation industry participants can request a copy of the Aviation Security Risk Context Statement through their local state based Office of Transport Security.
Links to Other Agencies Involved in Australian Aviation Security
The Department regulates and oversights the delivery of Australian aviation security, which involves a collective effort by both private and government organisations.
Agencies involved include the:
- Federal/State/Territory Police
- Attorney-General's Department
- Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)
- Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
- Airservices Australia
- Australia Post
Links to Related Web Sites
- The Federal Aviation Administration (United States)
- New Zealand Aviation Security Service
- International Air Transport Association (IATA)
- International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
- The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism
- Standing Advisory Committee on Commonwealth/State Co-operation for Protection from Violence (SAC-PAV)
- Transport Security Administration (United States)
The contact details for all initial inquiries are:
Aviation Security Branch
Department of Infrastructure and Transport
GPO Box 594
CANBERRA ACT 2601
1300 307 288 or +61 2 6274 8187 for overseas calls (airlines/airports and emergencies—24 hours)
+61 2 6274 7201 (air cargo agents)
+61 2 6274 6089 (general)
+61 2 6274 6012 (air cargo agents)