I was riding to work yesterday morning and didnt notice the usual BMI morning flight coming and thought it must have been delayed or landed early then i heard on the radio that Teesside was closed to all incoming and outgoing flights and all access to the airport was cut off.
Here is the news report from the website:
12th Apr 2007
Due to an incident this morning (Thursday 12th April 2007), some flights to and from Durham Tees Valley Airport may have been affected.
The airport is now fully operational and passengers are advised to check your flight status before leaving for the airport, by contacting your airline direct or visiting the arrival/departure page in the flight information section of this site - all delays and cancellations, when confirmed, will be displayed here.
and this is the follow up
US authorities question ‘Abandoned bag’ passenger
13th Apr 2007
It’s been confirmed that the passenger whose abandoned baggage caused a major security alert at Durham Tees Valley Airport yesterday has been interviewed by security services—including the FBI—on her arrival in the United States.
Meanwhile both the Airport and police say that the arrangements for dealing with yesterday’s incident worked well—but they have stressed the need for people not to be irresponsible in leaving luggage unattended…and to raise the alarm if they notice anything untoward.
Said Chief Inspector Bill Dutton of Durham Police “We have established that the owner of the suspect case was travelling from Durham Tees Valley to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and then on to Atlanta. When challenged at check-in at Durham Tees Valley over overweight hand luggage it appears that she decanted some items and then simply abandoned one of her bags.
“The army bomb disposal team used their remote robot vehicle to open the case which was found to contain only travel brochures.
“On arrival in Atlanta the passenger was met by a number of different security organisations—including the FBI—and interviewed for some two hours. It was established that there was no criminal intent but she was certainly made aware of the problems she had caused.
“Our arrangements for dealing with incidents of this kind worked efficiently and smoothly, but the thoughtless actions of one individual caused disruption to the travel arrangements for many hundreds of people and underline the importance of people acting sensibly and not leaving luggage unattended.”
Added Airport Managing Director Hugh Lang “We were grateful for the way in which the police and the bomb disposal team handled the incident and worked with our own staff in dealing with a potentially very difficult situation. Inevitably it did lead to significant disruption for passengers but I am sure they recognised the need to put safety as our paramount concern.
“What this underlines it the need for people to take into account the regulations on luggage—including weight and size restrictions—and act responsibly when travelling…in the interests of safety and security not just for themselves but their fellow passengers and staff.”