Adelaide Airport responds to security screening of woman with disability

Posted 6 months ago by David McManus
In an article published online in the Tasmania Times, Tammy Milne claims that the experience was traumatising. (Source: TonyNg via Shutterstock)
In an article published online in the Tasmania Times, Tammy Milne claims that the experience was traumatising. (Source: TonyNg via Shutterstock)

Tammy Milne lives with Arthrogrophosis Multipex Congenita and she claims to have been targeted by an overly assertive security guard at Adelaide Airport on May 16 at approximately 5:30pm.

Upon arriving in Adelaide, Ms Milne claims that she was almost strip-searched by security during the screening process, which the Airport has since claimed was done to a satisfactory extent, as per the Aviation Transport Security regulations and standard operating procedures

Ms Milne lives in Hobart and uses a mobility scooter, which she believes may have played a role in the private pat-down and “horrific humiliation.” The screening involved an explosives wand, at first, which returned a negative response, before escalating to further screening in a reserved room.

“In said room I pulled up my trouser legs to show my long orthotics (from foot-to-thigh); it is pretty obvious what they are when you see them like this. Still unconvinced that I was not a threat to national security, she was on the point of going to make me take them off when a supervisor stepped in,” writes Ms Milne.

“Is it that people with disabilities are now deemed as security threats and we are all harbouring dangerous goods in our equipment? How many of us have been caught?”

Tammy’s flight to Adelaide for an NDIS conference left her feeling uncomfortable to attend the Airport two days later when it was time to return to Hobart. She says that she had never experienced that kind of ‘security’ before, noting that better training is required in order to make sure that others aren’t subjected to similar situations.

“I then went back to my peer group of people with disabilities and talked about my experience. The sharing began and the stories I heard from people made me want to cry with sorry-for-us all over again. The stories included guide dogs having their harnesses removed for checking, people with disabilities stripped naked and made to bend over (international security).”

An Adelaide Airport representative tells The Advertiser that her experience has been reviewed and the relevant staff were interviewed regarding the incident, but no further action will be taken, as a significant breach of conduct could not be identified.

“We have policies and programs in place to assist people with disability including measures to support people with disability at our security screening points. We would be pleased to discuss the matter further with Ms Milne if she would like clarification on our screening procedures,” says the Adelaide Airport spokesperson.