Perth Airport invests A$13m in baggage security screening upgrades

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As part of an upgrade to its security infrastructure, Perth Airport in Australia will begin a A$13m (US$93m) upgrade to its checked baggage screening system across all terminals.

The advanced security screening equipment is being introduced as part of the Australian federal government’s mandate to strengthen the country’s domestic and international aviation security. With the introduction of CT x-rays for all international and domestic checked baggage across the airport’s four terminals, the equipment is expected to improve the efficiency of the overall screening process. This is because the machines will use 3D technology to make it easier to detect suspect goods in passengers’ checked baggage.

Kevin Brown, CEO of Perth Airport, said, “While security efforts at passenger screening points are obvious, what people don’t see is that each checked-in bag is screened prior to being loaded onto an aircraft. This behind-the-scenes process is crucial to ensuring we keep air travel safe and secure. We’ve also engaged local construction company Georgiou Group to deliver the project, so it’s a local investment in local jobs.”

Steve Okill, general manager of building at Georgiou Group, said, “We have a solid understanding of what Perth Airport expects when it comes to infrastructure upgrades, and look forward to delivering another high-quality upgrade to PAPL [Perth Airport Forecourt Plaza]. As this project spans all four terminals, our priority will be to minimize disruption to operations while utilizing innovation to provide time and cost savings.”

Perth Airport has also embarked on an upgrade to its passenger screening infrastructure across all terminals.

The baggage screening installation coincides with the Australian Supreme Court’s decision that Perth Airport will be compensated for the short payments that the Qantas Group made when using the airport’s services from July to mid-December in 2018. Based on the pricing included in the judgment, Perth Airport expects that Qantas will be required to pay more than A$9m (US$6m) more than it initially paid to make up for the short payments.

Brown said, “We look forward to resolving all outstanding payments and moving forward together with Qantas as we rebuild the WA [Western Australia state] aviation sector. We are glad to have received a judgment, and the outcome has recognized the fairness of the open and transparent consultative manner in which Perth Airport negotiates prices with our airline partners. The judgment recognizes that airports are entitled to a fair and reasonable price for the services they provide to all airlines for the benefit of the eight million hardworking Australian workers who are effectively the shareholders of Perth Airport through their superannuation funds.

“We’ve already signaled to Qantas our willingness to work on returning the Perth-London service, the new Perth-Rome service and additional routes such as Johannesburg and India. Our focus remains on quickly reconnecting WA to the world. In 2018 we negotiated new long-term agreements with all of our airline partners, informed by the Building Block Model, which resulted in price reductions being offered. The fact we were able to secure new agreements with 25 of the 26 airlines operating at Perth Airport is evidence the process was fair and reasonable. We began that consultation process with a WACC [weighted average cost of capital]of 9.7%. Qantas had countered with a significantly lower figure, almost half of what Perth Airport proposed, and short-paid Perth Airport on that basis. The court has ruled that 9.6% is a fair and reasonable WACC – closely aligned with Perth Airport’s view. Perth Airport welcomes the decision and looks forward to working with Qantas as we rebuild the sector.”

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