Safety and Security

We take the safety and security of the airport precinct and its users of the highest priority. We are committed to working closely with all government regulators relating to aviation safety and security.

A number of security personnel from various agencies are deployed around the airport to monitor operations. Some may be identifiable by uniform, some may not.

Domestic passengers

Domestic passengers, friends and loved ones must be security screened before entering the sterile area (the secure part of the terminal – departure lounge). Personal items are x-rayed and people entering must pass through either a metal detector or a body scanner. This is supplemented by random checks for explosives. Please refer to your airline for specific information about baggage.

Security Screening Process

Before accessing the departures lounge or sterile area, you will be subject to a security screening process. The process is to check for items that are not permitted to be carried on the aircraft, either on your person or in cabin baggage.

Security screening checks include:

X-ray screening of all carry-on items

All items that you take into the sterile area must be x-ray screened. This includes carry-on bags, wallets, computers, hand held devices and any items in your pockets.

Items which are unsuitable for x-ray screening such as strollers or wheelchairs will be subjected to secondary screening measures.

Body scanners

Passengers may be required to undergo body scanner screening. Body scanners provide an additional layer of security detection with the equipment capable of detecting non-metallic prohibited items worn or carried on one’s body.

The scanners use non-ionising millimetre wave technology which emit low power levels and meets the health regulations in relation to licencing compliance. As such, internal medical devices including pacemakers and metal implants or women pregnant will not be adversely affected.

Persons with a medical or physical condition that may prevent them from being screened by a body scanner will need to advise the screening officer. This will require the use of secondary screening processes.

Privacy concerns have been diminished as the image displayed on the body scanner is a generic human profile with a general indicator of a detected item. A screening officer will apply the use of other screening techniques, including a targeted frisk search to clear an alarm.

Refusal to be screened will mean you will not be permitted to pass through the security screening check-point or board your flight for 24 hours.

Walkthrough Metal Detector

Metal detectors provide a secondary form of screening for persons unsuitable to be screened by a body scanner.

Frisk Search

A physical pat-down may be applied to resolve an alarm after consent is obtained. A person may choose the use of a private search room to perform a frisk search.

Physical Inspection of personal effects

A physical inspection will take place if an item of baggage which cannot be cleared by the x-ray equipment or by an x-ray analyst. You will be asked for your consent prior to this taking place.

Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) screening

Persons and items may be subjected to ETD screening to clear an alarm from the body scanner or walk-through metal detector equipment, Similarly, personal effects may also require an explosives test as determined by a screening officer. In addition, persons may be selected to undergo a random explosives test. 

What cannot go through passenger screening

All cutting implements (such as knives, scissors, etc.) and sharp objects (metal cutlery, letter openers, razor blades etc.) are prohibited items in the aircraft cabin. These items may be carried in your checked-in baggage and stored in the aircraft hold.

Beverage containers of any description (empty or otherwise) are not to be carried through the body scanner and/or walkthrough metal detector for the purpose of screening and clearing. Only sealed containers (flask, thermos etc) may be submitted for x-ray screening. A beverage such as a coffee cup with lid does not constitute a sealed container as the liquid may cause damage to the x-ray apparatus.

Prohibited items which are surrendered or seized at a passenger or staff and goods screening point will be forfeited and subsequently destroyed.

Tips for going through security

  • Always pack your own baggage.
  • Place personal items including valuables, keys, coins, belts, mobile phones and medication in your carry-on baggage rather than keeping them in your pockets.
  • Remove bulky outerwear clothing such as coats, jackets and hats and place them in a tray.
  • Don’t over-pack carry-on baggage as you may have to take an item out for a physical inspection.
  • Aerosols must be removed and placed in a separate tray before x-ray screening. Divest these items into one of the trays provided.
  • Laptop computers and similar electronic equipment may remain in a bag and placed in a tray for x-ray screening.
  • Sharp, cutting or stabbing implements such as credit card knives,multi-tools and scissors should be packed in checked baggage.
  • Surrendered items will not be stored or arranged for return by the airline or the airport authority.

For more information on what you can take through domestic security screening please visit the TravelSECURE website.

Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods are items or substances that may endanger the safety of aircraft or persons on board an aircraft.    When checking in, airline staff will ask whether you have any hazardous items in your check-in or cabin baggage. Flammable goods, gas cylinders, acids and poisons are all considered hazardous and will not be allowed on the aircraft. These may include items such as lithium batteries, bleaches, paints and some aerosol containers. Once checked in, your carry-on and checked baggage will also be subject to security screening requirements.

Please contact your airline for details of prohibited and allowable items or visit the Civil Aviation Safety Authority website for further details.

Unattended Items

Under no circumstances should any luggage and personal items be left unattended in or around the airport.  Leaving an item unattended may result in prosecution. Please ensure that all baggage has your name and address details on the inside and your name and destination displayed on the outside. Airlines provide luggage tags at the check-in counters for this purpose.

Inappropriate Behaviour, Comments and Jokes

Please remain respectful of other passengers, airport and airline staff.  Any comment made, even if in jest, or threatening action regarding the possession or knowledge of possession of a weapon or explosive device will be taken seriously and may result in prosecution and/or refusal by the airline to carry you as a passenger.

All are considered as criminal offences and will be dealt with by law enforcement officers.


Whitsunday Coast Airport has an extensive closed circuit television (CCTV) system in operation, both within the terminal and car parks as well as surrounding outdoor areas. Your movements may be recorded for security purposes.