Security Concerns Down Under, Too

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The U.S. is not the only country worried about aviation security. In Australia, airport owners are asking the government to create new rules that would require that all aircraft at GA airports be locked and secured, and that pilots have a photo ID. "You've got to lock your car if you leave it in the street so people can't go for a joyride -- you should have to lock your plane as well," airport security consultant Kim Ellis told The Australian newspaper. Also, the Australian Airports Association has raised concerns that changes in the airspace system would allow aircraft to land at some regional airports without making radio contact with control towers. A parliamentary committee inquiry has been holding hearings on various aspects of aviation security, including concerns that shoulder-fired missiles could target civil aircraft. Critics also have complained that the government was slow to respond several years ago when a suspected terrorist with ties to Al Qaeda worked as a baggage handler for Qantas.