Australia upgrades airport security after alleged bomb plot

The Australian government has announced an upgrade in airport security around the country and an increase in police powers in response to an alleged attempt to smuggle an improvised explosive device aboard an Etihad Airways flight out of Sydney last year.

The government said Tuesday that it will spend 294 million Australian dollars ($222 million) on improving security equipment and staffing levels at all major city airports plus 13 regional airports.

It follows an alleged attempt to check in a bag containing military-grade explosives into the luggage hold of an Airbus A380 double-decker jet headed to the Middle East last July.

The airline rejected the bag at the check-in counter because it was overweight. Two Sydney men have been charged with planning a terrorist act.