Don’t be alarmed if you see a strong police presence at Ballina-Byron airport and Lismore airports next week — it will all be a part of a new security exercise.

NSW police training teams will be visiting regional airports within the northern and western regions to conduct reviews and re-enforcement of local transport security. 

The teams will be supporting local organisations through discussion exercises and providing guidance through on-site security reviews.
 
The joint training team will consist of members from the NSW Police Force Counter Terrorism Co-ordinated Response Group, Department of Infrastructure Transport Regional Development and Local Government and Australian Federal Police Regional Response Deployment Teams, and are attending regional airports in NSW as part of the Securing Our Regional Skies 2008 Education and Awareness Programme.  
 
The Commander of the Counter Terrorism Co-ordinated Response Group, Superintendent John Stapleton, said: “The key objective of the program is to provide an overview of the current security environment relating to regional airport security, and participants will include local police and emergency service organisations, council representatives and airport owners and operators.”

Northern Region Commander Assistant Commissioner Lee Shearer and Assistant Commissioner Peter Dein of the Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command said this training was funded through the Australian Government’s $48 million Securing our Regional Skies package and is jointly conducted by NSW Police Force and the Department of Infrastructure Transport Regional Development and Local Government.
 
“The program will provide an opportunity for key stakeholders, involved in management, security and response to learn from the experience of other regional airports and validate their security planning and response arrangements,” Assistant Commissioner Stephen Bradshaw said.
 
Assistant Commissioner Peter Dein said: “The NSW Police Force is working closely with the Department of Infrastructure Transport Regional Development and Local Government to deliver a program that effectively develops the protective security and incident response capabilities of regional airports.
 
“Together with funding provided to regional airports for basic security measures, the Securing our Regional Skies package further demonstrates the commitment of the NSW and Australian governments to strengthen aviation security in regional areas.”
 
The teams will be at:

  • Coffs Harbour (28 April)
  • Ballina (29 April)
  • Lismore (30 April)
  • Grafton (1 May)
  • Tamworth (2 May).