The bomb disposal unit was called to the Comox Airport Friday morning, but was not used to determine the contents of a suspicious package left on board an Air Canada flight. Photo by Erin Haluschak

The bomb disposal unit was called to the Comox Airport Friday morning, but was not used to determine the contents of a suspicious package left on board an Air Canada flight. Photo by Erin Haluschak

UPDATE: Suspicious package issue resolved; YQQ open for business

Passengers removed from Flight 8306 to Vancouver

An Air Canada flight from the Comox Airport (YQQ) to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) was delayed almost four hours Friday morning, after the discovery of a suspicious package on-board the aircraft.

Passengers boarded AC8306 with a departure time of 6:05 a.m. for a half hour flight to Vancouver, but were asked to leave the aircraft and remain in the terminal area away from the windows of the boarding lounge.

Debbie Bowman, one of the passengers en route to Vancouver said military members and police were called right away and noted everyone at the airport followed a strict protocol.

Fred Bigelow, CEO of the Comox Airport confirmed all security procedures were followed and while 19 Wing Comox members and the RCMP were examining the aircraft, a passenger called the airport looking for a lost bag.

“Simultaneously … it turned out to be her bag that she had inadvertently left on the aircraft last night. Normally that kind of package would be found when the aircraft is cleaned but it wasn’t for reasons I don’t know. The aircraft was searched by the RCMP and confirmed it was this lady’s package – her bag with a laptop.”

Bigelow credited the co-operation between 19 Wing and the RCMP who work together practicing airport exercises.

“… and today just show that training pays off,” he added.

“(Overall it was) a pretty minor impact on our passengers and except for those Air Canada passengers that were delayed, it all went well. It’s unfortunate for those passengers because many will be connecting through Vancouver – it’s a great flight to connect domestically and internally.”

Bigelow confirmed the bomb disposal robot was called to the airport, but to his knowledge was not put into use.

The flight was able to depart YQQ at 9:45 a.m. and landed in Vancouver at 10:13 a.m. and operations at the airport returned to normal.

A WestJet arrival from Calgary was postponed while the situation played out.

A Pacific Coastal flight to Vancouver was rescheduled to depart from Campbell River. Passengers were shuttled to the Campbell River Airport.

 

A pilot speaks with members of the RCMP and the Comox Airport early Friday morning outside the airport following a delay of Air Canada flight 8306 to Vancouver as a suspicious package was found on board. Photo by Erin Haluschak

A pilot speaks with members of the RCMP and the Comox Airport early Friday morning outside the airport following a delay of Air Canada flight 8306 to Vancouver as a suspicious package was found on board. Photo by Erin Haluschak