New South Wales Police will retain policing operation duties when Newcastle Airport begins international operations later this month.

From Thursday 22 November 2018, Newcastle Airport Pty Ltd (NAPL) will introduce Virgin Australia flights between Australia and New Zealand three days a week.

The 13-week arrangement is due to continue until Sunday 17 February 2019.

The Port Stephens-Hunter Police District has been working closely with the airport, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) to prepare for the changes.

Despite the introduction of international flights, Port Stephens-Hunter Commander, Detective Superintendent Craig Jackson, said the responsibility for policing will remain with NSW Police.

“The airport’s classification has moved from category three to category two, but it’s not deemed a “designated” facility, so there’s no requirement for the Australian Federal Police to staff the airport,” Det. Supt Jackson said.

“However, the AFP has started training local NSW officers to deal with international crime detection and the prosecution of offences under state and federal legislation,” he added.

“There are new areas of policing for us to consider, relating to importation, immigration and aviation offences, as well as the airport’s own procedures.”