15 November 2023

Man allegedly broke into Canberra Airport, drove van before escaping through fence

| Albert McKnight
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Canberra Airport terminal

A 31-year-old is alleged to have broken into the Canberra Airport and driven an airline vehicle. Photo: Canberra Airport/Facebook.

A man allegedly broke into the Canberra Airport and stole an airline vehicle before escaping by driving through a fence.

The 31-year-old from Canberra allegedly scaled a fence on 29 October and entered a restricted area of the airport where he was seen running across the tarmac, police say.

He allegedly broke into an airline van and began driving erratically across the runway before leaving the area by driving through a fence.

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Police found the van at a house in Harrison on 31 October where it was recovered and returned.

It will also be alleged that before the airport incident, the man broke into a nearby store where he stole cash, bank cards, electronic devices, car keys and clothing.

He was arrested after handing himself in to police on Monday (13 November). He was given five charges, including trespassing on prohibited Commonwealth land, damaging Commonwealth property and burglary.

He was then scheduled to appear in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (14 November).

Australian Federal Police Acting Inspector Robert Chaney-Nikolavcic said unauthorised access to restricted airport areas would not be taken lightly.

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“Ensuring safety and security at our designated airports remains a priority for the AFP,” he said.

“Trespassing on airport property is a serious offence which can pose significant threats to our national security.”

On 1 November 2023, a 19-year-old woman allegedly caught an Uber to the Canberra Airport and then walked under a plane as it was about to take off.

In August 2022, Ali Rachid Ammoun fired a revolver at the airport’s windows.

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What will it be next? Someone breaks into the airport and steals a plane?

im guessing you have just set the next challenge for someone.

Capital Retro1:30 pm 16 Nov 23

If someone does it better be a QANTAS one because it has already been cancelled to fly.

@Capital Retro
Or if the QANTAS flight hasn’t been cancelled, CR, and the plane is flown to an airport other than its intended destination, QANTAS will charge the passengers the extra fare differential.

Capital Retro2:39 pm 16 Nov 23

Solid gold JS. At last I am getting through to you.

This is the second major security breach at the airport in a matter of weeks. One would think heads would be rolling!

What’s next?

Capital Retro12:08 pm 15 Nov 23

Heads will be rolling?

Are we seeing a reborn and political correct Capital Retro?

There isn’t enough information about this incident, but since you mentioned it… How exactly do you propose the earlier incident is prevented?

no, AFP protect the politicians, so the politicians will protect them. And by protect, I mean cover up crimes.

Crazed_Loner2:50 pm 15 Nov 23

Perimeter fences are a deterrent but not a preventative. Even airport security staff expressed the view that they only kept the honest people out!

Given the Canberra Airport is a privately owned and managed facility, your comment makes no sense whatsoever

As you say there isn’t enough information about the latest incident. However, in relation to the earlier incident, I would have thought that it’s not unreasonable to expect measures to be in place to prevent unauthorised persons from being able to access the restricted tarmac zone and walk under a plane. (I’m assuming the Uber didn’t drop her there!)

Well thehutch, there is enough information to tell me that a lone intruder gained unauthorised access to restricted areas of the Canberra Airport, stole a vehicle, drove erratically across the tarmac and escaped by driving through a fence.

How would you feel if he was a terrorist filled with evil intentions, got this far and drove through a stationary or moving plane on the tarmac filled with passengers?

Our city would never recover!

One security breach is one too many at our airport!

Capital Retro4:12 pm 15 Nov 23

Absolutely not. There is no “politically correct” way to describe a beheading.

Bad stuff can happen at airports such as the attack and Hijacking at the Rome Airport, December 17, 1973: Five terrorists pulled weapons from their luggage in the terminal lounge at the Rome airport, killing two persons. They then attacked a Pan American 707 bound for Beirut and Tehran, destroying it with incendiary grenades and killing 29 persons, including 4 senior Moroccan officials and 14 American employees of ARAMCO. They then herded 5 Italian hostages into a Lufthansa airliner and killed an Italian customs agent as he tried to escape, after which they forced the pilot to fly to Beirut. After Lebanese authorities refused to let the plane land, it landed in Athens, where the terrorists demanded the release of 2 Arab terrorists. In order to make Greek authorities comply with their demands, the terrorists killed a hostage and threw his body onto the tarmac. The plane then flew to Damascus, where it stopped for two hours to obtain fuel and food. It then flew to Kuwait, where the terrorists released their hostages in return for passage to an unknown destination. The Palestine Liberation Organization disavowed the attack, and no group claimed responsibility for it.

Capital Retro5:18 pm 15 Nov 23

How lucky were we that the dude who drove his 4WD into the Great Hall at Parliament House was only a nutter with a grievance?


It is a hyperbolic expression CR simply alluding to severe punishment. It is an expression used widely and not confined to airports and aeroplanes!

Walk around any airport, including in places like America, you will see doors… They open. In many situations, they cannot be secured to the point of not opening (or having the ability to be overridden), because buildings are required to have egress for emergencies. In this situation, they were alarmed. Still doesn’t stop someone from doing it, just alerts that it has occurred. Airports also have points for people to get onto planes. Even if staffed, that isn’t foolproof, nor would I expect that they are going to physical restrain you if pushed past them.

Do you know the time of day this occurred? I don’t and I can’t decipher that from the article.

Fences etc are a barrier. They are not and never will be foolproof to people determined to do harm.

A car driving through a plane… Wow! I’ll back the plane.

“Our city would never recover!” Been to New York recently?

Someone with evil intentions, has many softer targets in Canberra, likely to cause greater casualty numbers. Live your life in fear if you want…

Breaches in airport security should be treated seriously. They should be reviewed, to determine ways to improve things… within reason. But scaremongering and hyperbolic positions do no one any good.

@JustSaying AFP are responsible for physical protective security of all airports, you realise this dont you?

Capital Retro7:53 am 16 Nov 23

Pure hyperbole, Jack D.

All airports? They must have sooo many staff. The people that use Cooma, Mt Gambier and Bacchus Marsh airports must feel so safe with AFP wondering around protecting them.

Yes – I know AFP are responsible for protective security … but what has that got with your conspiracy theory about political cover up?

BTW, yeah the AFP have been exposed ALOT in burying investigations. including alot of sexual assault at APH. Confirmed fact.

OK – so you have nothing (other than a general conspiracy theory) with respect to a political coverup at the airport.

As for “Confirmed fact”? The resignation of DPP Shane Drumgold, following the inquiry into the conduct of the investigation into the (alleged) Higgins sexual assault at APH, hardly constitutes “Confirmed fact” … but keep digging.

You have correctly identified “potential weaknesses” in the airport security cordon.

Surely that means the airport should be actively mitigating the risk to ensure that no breach results in an unauthorised person being able to get so close to an aircraft in the process of departing.

Fortunately there was nothing sinister in the teenager’s actions as it appears she may have been experiencing a mental health crisis.

You mention American airports. One can only speculate on the outcome had this happened at JFK, but suffice to say security staff there would take the matter far more seriously than you appear to do so.

it was a general comment on AFP in general, if you didnt realise.

No I didn’t realise – but I’m sure it somehow makes sense to you

Gregg Heldon3:14 pm 16 Nov 23

As a former employee of the AFP, I would love to hear about all these cover ups and confirmed facts that you are talking about.
Happy to wait.

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