A dangerous weapons haul stashed in a suitcase ahead of flight from Albury

TOUCH DOWN: A file photo of a Qantas plane at Albury Airport.
TOUCH DOWN: A file photo of a Qantas plane at Albury Airport.

WEAPONS have been seized at Albury Airport after concerns were raised about the contents of a passenger’s luggage.

Police were called to the airport about 6am on Thursday ahead of a Qantas flight to Sydney.

A hunting knife, a folding knife, a laser pointer and toy pistol were seized by the officers and a teenager was taken into custody.

The items had been detected during screening of the man’s checked baggage.

The Queensland man, 18, was taken to the Albury police station before being charged with two counts of possessing a knife in a public place, possessing a prohibited article, and two counts of breaching bail.

Member for Benambra Bill Tilley recently raised concerns that some passengers were not screened at Albury.

Rex does not screen carry on luggage, due to the airline’s Saab 340 aircraft being under 20 tonnes, but Qantas, Virgin and Jetgo passengers do get screened.

Mayor Kevin Mack said Thursday's incident showed the need to be careful about what was checked, on how it was checked.

WORKING: Detective Inspector Winston Woodward said the seizure showed the airport screening policies were working.

WORKING: Detective Inspector Winston Woodward said the seizure showed the airport screening policies were working.

“They have found those items in the luggage,” Cr Mack said.

“It proves that our screening process works.

“Those processes ensure safe travel.

“All the checked luggage gets screened, it’s just the carry on luggage that doesn’t get screened on the Rex flights.”

Cr Mack said airport staff would debrief following the seizure.

“It’s part of the risk assessment process,” he said.  

“The staff managers out there will debrief and will celebrate the wins and work out how they can avoid the losses.”

Detective Inspector Winston Woodward said staff had done the right thing by immediately contacting police when the items were found. 

“I don’t think communities should be worried about this,” he said.

“I think it's a sign that the airport security measures are in place and on this occasion, have worked.

“I think it's reassuring to the community that offences such as these and weapons are being picked up on x-ray.”