AFP statement on incident on-board Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur flight

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The AFP can confirm that late on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 Aviation officers at Melbourne International Airport received notification of an incident on-board an aircraft that had recently departed for Kuala Lumpur.

The AFP was advised the flight was immediately returning to Melbourne. In collaboration with Airport partners, the airport’s Emergency Response Plan was activated. Victorian Police were notified by the AFP in line with the plan.

Once on the ground, the aircraft was directed to a holding position a safe distance from the terminal, the AFP established a police forward operational command post, and a security cordon was established around the aircraft by the AFP.

In conjunction with Victoria Police, resolution planning took into account multiple and conflicting sources of information received via social media and official sources. All precautions were taken to confirm this information to ensure an appropriate response.

During this planning, operational command for the incident was formally accepted by Victoria Police – consistent with nationally agreed arrangements for aviation security incidents.  

At all times the safety and security of the passengers and crew was the primary focus for police. The AFP and Victoria Police worked closely to ensure a safe and secure disembarkation of passengers and crew.

The man has been charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft under section 22 Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991 and making threats or false statements under section 24 of the Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991. He is scheduled to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court today (Thursday, 1 June 2017).

AFP and Victoria Police continue to investigate this matter.

 

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