A man, described as a “person of interest” by police, was in custody Saturday afternoon following a threat received regarding a Westjet flight from Kelowna to Calgary scheduled to leave YLW later that day.
The airport received a call threatening a specific plane shortly after noon. The threat was to a plane that had arrived from Edmonton and was scheduled to depart for another destination.
The 98 passengers who had traveled from Edmonton were initially held on board the plane. Later, they were transferred by bus to the terminal for screening. The passengers and their luggage were searched, as was another plane, but police said they found nothing of interest.
Airport director Sam Samaddar said as a safety precaution, the plane later flew from Kelowna to Calgary only the flight crew on board and the Calgary bound passengers were accommodated on other later flights.
He said at no time was there a threat to the airport terminal or anyone inside and the airport continued to operate throughout the incident with just a few flights delayed. But as precaution, the plane, when it arrived from Edmonton, was diverted to the end of the runway.
There, the passengers from Edmonton were kept on board for a two hours while their bags and the bags that were to be loaded on for Calgary were checked by the bomb-sniffing police dog.
The incident at YLW is regarding a specific flight. The safety of all public and aircraft is top priority.
— YLW Kelowna Airport (@ylwkelowna) October 25, 2014
The threat to the Calgary fight came amid heightened security at the airport in light of last week’s shooting of a Canadian soldier in Ottawa.
For a time Saturday afternoon, anyone leaving the airport terminal had to show identification.
The airport was also hosting a travel expo at the time, so there were more people in the terminal than normal.
When the threat was received, emergency personnel were ordered to stand by.