Melbourne Airport security misses screwdriver in luggage twice

Melbourne Airport security misses screwdriver in luggage twice

  • By Shannon Deery
  • From: Herald Sun
  • September 20, 2010 3:01AM

AN 80-year-old grandmother has shown up Melbourne airport’s multi-million dollar security-screening operation after carrying a 33cm screwdriver onto a plane on two recent flights.

Qantas will investigate how Pamela Bond was able to board a plane after passing security-screening with the banned item in her bag.
Mrs Bond, who lives in Adelaide, first carried the prohibited item in her hand-luggage when she flew to Melbourne last month to spend time with her son after the death of her husband.

The tool was not detected at Adelaide, even though the luggage went through an X-ray machine.
She then passed security at Melbourne airport unnoticed a week later.
Son Geoff Bond said his mother didn’t realise the screwdriver was in the pocket of her carry-on luggage until she returned.
“She was quite shocked and very concerned about the breach,” Mr Bond said.

“She was careful when she packed because she thought security was a lot tougher, but now she thinks the whole thing is just ridiculous.”
Mrs Bond said she was “very surprised” security screening did not detect the screwdriver.
“I just can’t understand how it got through; perhaps someone wasn’t being vigilant. I certainly never, ever meant to take a screwdriver across to Melbourne.

“I’m well aware things like that don’t go in cabin luggage. I don’t even put a nail file in my handbag before flying.”
Her son said it seemed as if people were being rushed through the security check point because of long queues.
He called on Qantas to review safety and security procedures.
“I’m concerned by this. More than anything I’m frustrated about the system,” he said.
Mr Bond said he had made a complaint to Qantas but “they didn’t seem to care”.
Qantas spokesman Simon Rushton, however, said the airline was very concerned about the lapse.
“Qantas screens millions of passengers and their carry-on bags each year (and) we take any incident where a prohibited item is not detected by security screening extremely seriously,” he said.

Mr Rushton said that Qantas was responsible for security screening only at Melbourne airport.
“We will investigate these claims and also report them to the Office of Transport Security.”
But he added: “Qantas meets and, in many cases, exceeds, all government mandated aviation security requirements.”

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