Airport takedown

A 35-year-old Alberta man, currently residing in Summerland, faces several charges after the Kelowna International Airport received a threat to an outgoing domestic flight on Saturday afternoon.
On October 25 at 12:24 p.m., the Kelowna RCMP received a report of a possible threat specific to an outbound WestJet flight set to depart from Kelowna International Airport later that afternoon. The aircraft was inbound at the time of the report.

As a precaution it was diverted to a secure location away from the terminal for the ongoing safety of the public, airport personnel, and the facility. The luggage of the outbound flight was also isolated away from the terminal building. Both the luggage and passengers were searched but nothing of concern was located.
An inbound flight, also a WestJet plane, that was not the subject of the threat was also directed away from the terminal. Police believed the WestJet aircraft and the passengers of that flight were never in danger.

The RCMP say, "It was out of an abundance of caution, and for the purposes of the investigation, that the flight was isolated and the passengers and their luggage searched."

Passengers were held in the plane and then on busses for two hours while a police dog searched their luggage Saturday afternoon.

In the press release the RCMP say they would like to thank the affected passengers for their patience and cooperation during the situation.
Through the course of the investigation, a person of interest was identified and taken into custody.
Michael Joseph Howells has since been charged with Uttering Threats, Public Mischief, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Endangering Aircraft by False Information and Mischief.

Howells has an extensive criminal record, he faced the airport charges in court on Monday (Oct. 27). He is due back in court on Dec. 14. 

Witnesses say prior to his arrest Howells was acting suspiciously as he stood in line at Tim Hortons in the airport terminal Saturday afternoon. People heard him yelling at staff and creating a scene.



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