REGIONAL Express (Rex) has claimed the annual operating cost of screening at Wagga Airport would be roughly $750,000 per year.
Given the carrier services 45 communities, air travellers would be forced to absorb $34 million annually in security costs.
It comes as debate continues to circulate about the vulnerability of Rex’s Wagga terminal.
Some were quick to criticise the security shortfall, while others rose to defend the regional airline.
Frequent flyer Sam Mitchell said he felt perfectly safe on a Rex flight, despite a lack of screening.
“If I was going to be worried, I’d feel worried every time I boarded a bus or a train too,” he said.
“It’s the same mentality as fearing for your life when you drive in a car – even though that’s more likely to kill you than a flight.
Other would-be passengers were less forgiving, citing the importance of aviation security.
“A verbal ‘have you got any weapons’ from staff isn’t security,” Jenna Wilkes said.
“Given the price of flights, people should be able to feel safe at all times.”
Rex suggested that installing widespread screening measures would send the company bankrupt.
“The Rex Group's latest full year results only showed a $4 million operational profit, so it would be easy to see what would happen if screening were made mandatory – most regional centres would be left without an air service,” a spokesperson said.