The proposed change would involve amendment of the Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991 (Cth), with the maximum penalty for hoax offences - a false threat to destroy, damage or endanger an aircraft or airport - increased from two years to 10 years imprisonment.
Under the proposal, maximum penalties for aviation-related crimes will be provided within four categories -
* 10 years jail for hoax offences such as calling an airline and saying a bomb is on a plane or threatening to bomb an airport (currently a two year maximum jail term)Three new offences are proposed -
* 14 years jail for offences against aircraft or aviation environments, such as damaging a runway or air traffic control facilities at a major airport (currently a maximum jail term of seven or ten years)
* 20 years jail for very serious offences that pose danger or cause harm to groups of people, such as assaulting a pilot or endangering an aircraft while in flight (currently a maximum jail term of seven, 14 or 15 years)
* offences such as hijacking or destroying an aircraft and being reckless as to causing death (life imprisonment).
* Assault of an aircraft crew member - a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment
* Reckless endangerment of an aircraft, where danger of serious harm or death can be shown - a maximum penalty of 14 years
* Having dangerous goods onboard an aircraft, where there is a risk of serious harm or death - a maximum penalty of 14 years.