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Security breach at Charlottetown airport causes flight delay

Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority, says two people breached airport security on Thursday and were stopped as they made their way towards the apron, which is the area at the airport where planes are parked and fueled. Katie Smith/The Guardian
Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority, says two people breached airport security on Thursday and were stopped as they made their way towards the apron, which is the area at the airport where planes are parked and fueled. Katie Smith/The Guardian

Man and youth crawl under airport fence, into secured area

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – A security breach occurred at the Charlottetown airport Thursday just after noon, when a man and youth were seen walking inside the security fence.

Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority, said the pair climbed under a gap in a portion of the fence on the southern part of the airport property in the business park area, between the main terminal and the older terminal.

“They were walking towards the terminal and the apron when our security went over and met them and escorted them to a groundside area in our southern parking lot,” Newson told The Guardian.

“At no time were they in any danger or near any aircraft that were parked on the apron.”

Charlottetown police received a call around 12:30 p.m. and arrived at the scene where they removed the 31-year-old Charlottetown resident and the youth from the premises. No charges will be laid.

The part of the fence in question is not part of the primary security fence and is used for wildlife management prevention, Newson said, adding the airport does regular checks of the fence, especially the security fence, which is closer to the airport terminal building.

“We did do a complete risk assessment (following the incident) with Transport Canada and Air Canada security just to make sure that everything was OK and that the aircraft could continue on.”

The risk assessment caused a 45-minute delay of a flight heading to Montreal, the only plane on the ground when the incident initially occurred. As the investigation was underway, a second flight arrived and had to wait a few minutes before disembarking.

Newson said airport maintenance staff temporarily fixed the fence to ensure it won’t be breached again until a more permanent fix is in place.

“That fence line is actually on our plans to replace in the next little while anyway, so we might have to move that up.”

Newson said he is unsure what the man and youth were doing in the area where the fence was breached.

“I believe he had parked in that area for some reason and decided to proceed through, but I can’t comment in terms of motive or why the individual or the child did this, but we will do a complete investigation and work with our partners.”

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