SYDNEY, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Australia's transport chief said Monday the downing by terrorists of a single Australian airliner would result in billion-dollar losses to the economy.
Michael Taylor, Transport Department Secretary, painted the loss scenario Monday in remarks to a national security conference in Sydney, according to The Australian newspaper.
The estimates presented were drawn from a study by the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics, which looked at what would happen if a Boeing 767 passenger jet was blown up by terrorists. The aftermath scenario was drawn from the experience of other countries, the newspaper reported.
Taylor said all Australian airports would probably be shut down for 24 hours as a matter of security, in-bound and out-bound travel would drop for some time, and with it the financial situation of businesses linked to travel and tourism.
As many as 146,000 jobs would be lost and as much as 2 percent removed from the country's gross domestic product figure, according to the scenario presented.
The Australian said the report projected a cost to the economy of nearly $24 billion over two years.
"Intelligence continues to confirm terrorists have an active interest in aviation," Taylor said. "We need to operate in an anticipatory mode ... The threat to transport is high."