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Unruly behaviour will not be tolerated at Australia's airports these holidays

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Unruly behaviour will not be tolerated at Australia's airports these holidays


The Australian Federal Police (AFP) will not be tolerating inappropriate and offensive behaviour at Australia’s airports these holidays.

The AFP is the primary law enforcement agency at the nine major Australian airports, and too often, must respond to incidents of violent or disorderly behaviour

on board aircraft or in the airport.

In the 2015-2016 financial year, the AFP charged:

76 people with offences relating to offensive behaviour at an airport or on a plane, including drunkenness or violent behaviour,

Eight people after they failed to comply with directions from airport or airline staff, and

10 people for making threatening or false statements at an airport, such as false claims of carrying explosives.

Historically, reports indicate these incidents rise over the busy travel periods in December and January.

Offensive behaviour is unacceptable in any setting and the AFP will not tolerate it at Australia’s airports.

When travelling through the airport and when on a plane, members of the public are bound by Australian law. Where substantive offences are revealed, the AFP

will take action against any person who breaches these laws.

In addition to police action, airlines are within their rights to impose their own charges, bans or recover the significant costs associated with any flight diversions

due to this behaviour.

The AFP will also charge anyone found to be carrying a prohibited weapon through the airport.

The AFP seized 2355 prohibited weapons across the nine major airports - Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and

Sydney - in the 2015-2016 financial year.

AFP Assistant Commissioner David Sharpe, National Manager Protection Operations, said that the AFP will be working closely with our national partners to

ensure the public arrive at their destinations safely, but will not excuse violent or offensive behaviour, regardless of your holiday destination.

“Airport staff, pilots and the cabin crew are there to make sure your journey is an enjoyable one. It is disappointing that they have to restrain violent passengers,

and even be abused or assaulted when trying to do their jobs,” Assistant Commissioner Sharpe said.

“While the high number of weapon seizures demonstrates the effectiveness of Australian airport security screening processes, it also demonstrates the

incorrect assumptions that these items are not dangerous or illegal. Prohibited weapons, including credit card knives, have no place in the airport.”

“Police will take action against any unruly behaviour or prohibited items seized at the airports so don’t ruin your or your family’s holiday before it even begins.”

Note to media:

Case studies, and national and airport specific statistics are available by contacting the AFP National Media team.

Vision and images of seized items can be downloaded through:




Carrying a prohibited weapon through a screening point

Section 47 Aviation Transport Security Act (ATSA) 2004 -100 Penalty units - $18000

Carrying a prohibited item through a screening point

Section 54 ATSA - 20 penalty units - $3600

Unruly behaviour - aircraft

Section 256AA Civil Aviation Regulations -1988 - 50 penalty units - $9000

Interfering with crew or aircraft

Section 24 Civil Aviation Act 1988 - 2yrs imp.

False Statements - aircraft

Section 24 Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991

- 10years imprisonment

Threats regarding aviation security

Section 9.01 ATSR 2005 - 50penalty units - $9000.00

Media enquiries:

AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333