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MELBOURNE AIRPORT/QANTAS: Domestic security screening upgrade – leave laptop in bag

MELBOURNE AIRPORT/QANTAS: Domestic security screening upgrade – leave laptop in bag

Melbourne Airport is upgrading the security screening airport for Qantas Domestic passengers. But don’t hold your breath. Although work starts this week, it won’t be complete until December 2025. That’s more than 18 months away.

The good news is that once implemented, passengers will no longer have to unpack their electronic devices:

“These new security screening points will mean customers no longer need to spend time taking laptops and other items out of carry-on luggage which simplifies the process.” 

Darsh Chapman, Qantas Executive Manager Global Airports
Rendered animation of the staged security upgrade for Qantas Domestic passengers [Melbourne Airport]

Staged process for upgrade to Melbourne Airport/Qantas domestic security

Stage one begins this week with the construction of a new temporary screening point. It will be located at the eastern end of the Qantas domestic terminal and will take until August to be completed. 

From August, when the temporary screening point for Qantas domestic passengers is complete, they will no longer need to remove laptops, tablets or aerosols from carry-on luggage. 

While the temporary screening point is in place, the existing six-lane screening point will be rebuilt with more up-to-date baggage screening and body scanning technology. 

Qantas is late to the party, with all other domestic terminals already having this new screening technology.

Screening upgrade disruption and completion

Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Jim Parashos, warns that there might be some disruption during the process by thanking passengers in advance for their cooperation:

“Installing this new security equipment while keeping the terminal operational is a significant logistics challenge, and we thank passengers for their patience and understanding while we undertake this work.”  

Jim Parashos, Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation

The completion date for the project of December 2025 is subject to Airport Building Controller approvals.

The Government has mandated 2025 as the completion date for these upgrades, so Melbourne Qantas terminal will just scrape in.

people in an airport with luggage
Brisbane Airport upgraded security render [Brisbane Airport]

Other Australian Airport screening upgrades

The time-saving scanners – which do not require the removal of computers and other electronic devices are already installed in Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin and Perth. Melbourne Airport Terminals 2 to 4, also have them installed.

Laggards are Sydney where only T3 (Qantas) has the new 3D scanners as do most lanes at T1 Interational. T2, housing REX, Jetstar, Virgin and some others does not have the upgraded scanners yet, but is scheduled for an upgrade by 2025.

Brisbane has scheduled the upgrade and is apparently on track to install by the 2025 deadline.

people standing in a terminal
Melbourne Airport, render of new security area for Qantas [Melbourne Airport/AI]

2PAXfly Takeout

It’s good to see that Melbourne Airport is getting behind the government’s wish to upgrade security procedures. I find Melbourne Airport incredibly efficient, especially when transferring from domestic to international flights. That’s despite its unfriendliness to people with mobility issues. I once had to navigate all those stairs with an injured foot, which gave me a little insight into the challenges.

Currently, when entering security at an Australian airport, you need to have your wits about you. It’s hard to know whether you will be subject to a new or old regime. And even the new regimes are different depending on where you are. If my memory is correct, in Adelaide, when you go through the scanner, you only have to stand one way, whereas in Sydney’s Qantas Terminal security, you need to place yourself in two different positions.

Don’t get me started on watches and belts.


  1. Daniel

    I agree with your sentiment about belts. The benefit of the current setup at the Qantas terminal at MEL is that you can keep your belt on. In SYD, removing belts is mandatory. This actually means it takes longer to get through security! Not. Happy. Jan.

    • 2paxfly

      Hi Daniel,
      Totally agree. So frustrating. I maintain a ‘no belts’ policy on flights now – except when I forget.


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