An arrest has been made at Canberra Airport in Australia after a would-be passenger ran past security and onto the airside tarmac before trying to board a plane.
The incident happened at 7:30 PM local time, on 1 November 2023, just as the QantasLink Embraer E190AR aircraft was about to depart. Shocked passengers at the airport filmed the incident. Their footage shows the woman, who pushed past staff in the terminal building and ran out onto the tarmac as if she’d only just left the house, wearing slippers, black leggings, a grey top and carrying a mobile phone. While alarm bells can be heard sounding in the background of the recording, she ends up standing directly beneath the plane and waving at the pilot, who luckily “was warned or spotted her and killed the engine,” according to passenger Simon Hales, posting on Facebook.
An woman who apparently missed her flight tried to catch it by running after the QantasLink Embraer E190AR plane (VH-XVO) on the tarmac.— FL360aero (@fl360aero) November 2, 2023
The strange incident was captured at Canberra Airport (CBR) on Nov 01, 2023. On chase, woman started waving at the pilot.
📹Dennis Bilic pic.twitter.com/rKw7p1xsKN
Realising her attempt to flag down and board the flight she had apparently missed was futile, the would-be flyer abandoned the idea and turned to go back inside the airport building.
Dennis Bilic, a witness who filmed the incursion, told 9News reporters that airport staff seemed slow to react: “People were a bit flat-footed, they didn’t seem to know what to do, that was the weird part.” Observers were asking themselves: “Is anyone going to stop her?” he said.
An Australian Federal Police spokesperson told press the woman had been charged with entering an airside area or security zone without permission; damaging property; and being in possession of a small quantity of cannabis.
Global security threats
Various countries globally are on high security alerts, partly due to the Hamas-Israel war. Rioters recently overran an airport in Dagestan, chanting and searching for Israelis to lynch. France has suffered a number of bomb threats and been forced to evacuate and close major infrastructure and attractions, such as the Palace of Versailles. And a tourist using a language app in Lisbon, Portugal was arrested for trying to order a drink but confusing the word for “pomegranate” with the word for “grenade”.
The Canberra incident meanwhile is the second runway invasion to be reported in less than a week. Operations at Germany’s Hamburg Airport were disrupted at the weekend for thousands of passengers due to an 18-hour hostage situation involving a four-year-old child who was driven onto the runway and held beneath a Turkish Airlines plane.
Astonishingly, the ensuing disruption at Canberra lasted only about 10 minutes before operations resumed, 9News reported.