Travellers who have a flight planned at Victoria International Airport (YYJ) on Tuesday are being warned of travel disruptions due to police activity.
Sidney/North Saanich RCMP say the airport was closed after a suspicious package was discovered around 1:30 p.m.
Cpl. Andres Sanchez of the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP says that the airport was closed to all incoming and outgoing flights “out of an abundance of caution.”
He said the airport will remain closed until police “can be sure it is safe for the public to travel.”
“The package was located at the departures/check-in [area], so it was brought in by a passenger,” said Sanchez Tuesday afternoon.
The package was flagged by Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) staff who spotted what appeared to be an “incendiary device” within a bag, he said.
“CATSA employees performed the checks that you normally do at a departure situation at the airport,” he said.
“They scanned the bag and found there were items inside that could be of a dangerous nature and at that point police were called to the scene to investigate further,” he said.
Mounties say a specialized RCMP team has been called in from the mainland to remove the bag from the premises and to “ensure the package is dealt with in a safe manner.”
PASSENGER UNDER INVESTIGATION
Sanchez says the individual who brought the bag is under investigation, but it’s unclear if any criminal charges will be recommended yet.
“Again, because we don’t know what’s in that bag we can’t speak further on that,” he said.
In the meantime, people are asked to avoid the airport for the next few hours, according to RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Chris Manseau.
Around 4:20 p.m., the airport said all scheduled commercial flights for the next two hours were cancelled.
The airport is working with airlines to keep them updated on the status of flights.
Police say they hope the airport will be able to reopen Tuesday night, but it’s uncertain how long the investigation at the property will take.
Travellers should check the YYJ website for the latest updates on their flights, according to the airport.