Woman arrested after running onto airport tarmac to flag down missed plane

‘Bizarre’ incident was filmed by shocked onlookers

Benjamin Parker
Monday 06 November 2023 14:14 GMT
Woman arrested for running on tarmac to catch plane

A woman has been arrested after running out onto the tarmac at an airport, in an apparent attempt to flag down a plane from leaving without her.

The incident, which occurred on Wednesday night at Canberra Airport in Australia, was caught on film by witnesses close to the scene.

In the clip, the unexpected airside wanderer can be seen standing close to the QantasLink aircraft, seemingly trying to get the pilot’s attention just before it was due to depart.

With no luck stopping the plane, she then turns around and heads back towards the terminal building.

Dennis Bilic, who recorded the incident, told 9News: “People were a bit flat-footed, they didn’t seem to know what to do, that was the weird part.”

Mr Bilic added that those watching were left wondering: “Is anyone going to stop her?”

Another witness, Simon Hales, described the incident as “bizarre”, and later wrote on Facebook: “A lady who had missed her flight clearly thought she could still catch it … luckily the pilot was warned or spotted her and killed the engine.”

The woman “pushed past the staff at the door, ran down onto the tarmac and ran up to the plane”, Mr Hales added.

The Independent has contacted the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Canberra Airport for further information.

A spokesperson for the AFP confirmed that the woman had been charged with entering an airside area or security zone without permission and damaging property. She was also charged with possession of a small quantity of cannabis.

It’s not the first time someone has tried to hitch a ride on a plane in this unusual way.

In 2021, a woman was detained in Los Angeles after running out onto the tarmac at the city’s LAX Airport, apparently in a bid to “wave down” an aircraft.

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