The Australian Federal Police are stepping up their patrols at Gold Coast Airport ahead of what’s expected to be a bumper Easter for the local tourism industry.
The AFP has warned officers will be conducting high-visibility patrols at the airport over the next few weeks as thousands of people prepare to head to the Gold Coast for a holiday.
“The rapid increase in passengers moving through the airport since the lowering of travel restrictions means the AFP will be deploying more officers to ensure community safety in and around the airport precinct,” the AFP said.
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“Our officers will take a zero-tolerance approach to anyone behaving dangerously in and around the Gold Coast Airport or on-board aircraft.”
More than 28,000 passengers have been tipped to flow through the terminal on Easter Monday alone, which could smash the previous April record set in 2018 when 23,048 passengers travelled through the airport on their way home from the Commonwealth Games.
Police fear organised crime groups could try and use the chaos to slip under the radar, but authorities have warned anyone who tries to break the law will be caught.
“People can expect to see a variety of specialist police in and around the terminals across the Easter holidays,” the AFP said.
“Our presence will include drug, firearm and explosive detection canines, increased uniformed police foot patrols and Protection Operations Response Teams who carry short-barrel rifles to respond to any threat to public safety.
“We have maintained a policing capability at Gold Coast Airport throughout the COVID pandemic, and are ready for this increase in travellers and poised to detect, deter and arrest anyone seeking to exploit increased domestic air travel and those who are engaged in serious and organised crime.”
According to data from booking website Wotif.com, the Gold Coast is the number one searched Australian destination in April.
Holidaymakers heading to the glitter strip over the holidays are being encouraged to plan ahead, be patient and allow plenty of time.