Security screening process

It is important that everyone is security screened before entering the secure area of an Australian airport terminal and boarding a flight. This includes passengers, people accompanying passengers to the boarding gate, aircrew and airport workers.

Before you arrive at the airport, prepare yourself for screening by knowing what you can and cannot take on board, and understand the screening process outlined below.

  1. Place all personal items, wallets or purses in your carry-on baggage.
  2. Place your bag of liquid, aerosol and gel items in the tray (departing international terminal only).
  3. Place any containers of powders in a separate tray (departing international terminal only).
  4. Place metallic (keys, coins) and electronic (laptops, mobile phones) items in the tray.
  5. Remove bulky outer wear clothing (e.g. coats, jacket), hats and jewellery, and place them in the tray.
  6. Place your carry-on baggage onto the conveyor belt.
  7. Inform screening officers if you have any medical devices, aids or implants before being screened.
  8. Go through the walkthrough metal detector. If travelling internationally, you may be randomly selected for a body scanner.
  9. You may be asked to go through the security screening process again until you are cleared if an issue is identified. This may include other screening methods (hand-held metal detector, frisk search).
  10. You may also be randomly selected for explosive trace detection testing after proceeding through the initial screening process.

Your rights at the screening point

When you enter a screening point, you are agreeing to each screening procedure. If a frisk search is required, you will be asked to consent to this process.

You have the right to refuse any screening process. However, if you refuse you will not be permitted to go through the security screening point and will not be able to board your flight.

Airport security in other countries

Aviation security can differ at Australian airports and in other countries. If you are unsure of the rules, check with your airline or the country you are visiting before you travel.

Additional security measures for travellers flying to Australia from the Middle East

The Australian Government has requested additional aviation security screening measures. From the 6 April, you may be randomly selected for an explosive trace detection test, when flying directly to Australia from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha.

These new measures will apply to direct inbound flights to Australia to these airlines:

  • Qantas flying from Dubai
  • Etihad (including Virgin Australia code share passengers) flying from Abu Dhabi
  • Qatar Airways flying from Doha

Passengers should contact these airlines for more information

New screening measures

Prior to boarding your flight at the gate, you will be asked to present your carry-on baggage for the usual checks for prohibited liquids, aerosols and gels. At this time you may also be randomly selected for an explosive trace detection (ETD) test.

The ETD test will be similar to that used at screening points in Australian airports.

If you are selected, you will be asked to remove any electronic items that are on you or in your carry-on bags. You, your carry-on bags and your electronic items will be swabbed and the swab will then be analysed. The process should take about 30 seconds.

Transit and transfer passengers

Passengers who start their journey in another country and then board an Australia bound flight in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Qatar will undergo this screening.

For information on your travel destination visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Smartraveller website.