Ground stop at Eindhoven Airport due to bomb threat on flight arriving from Prague
The Marechaussee said the aircraft, passengers, and baggage were screened without incident. Eindhoven Airport said air traffic started back up at about 7:45 p.m.
Air traffic around the Eindhoven Airport was halted on Friday afternoon due to a bomb threat, the Marechaussee said on Twitter. The threat targeted a plane which arrived from the Czech Republic. Although it was first estimated that the airport might reopen by 5 p.m., European air traffic control organization Eurocontrol the delay it would be at least 80 minutes longer. Eindhoven Airport said around 6:10 p.m., "It is still unclear when air traffic will resume."
A flight which landed at the airport then taxied to the military air base adjacent to the airport. The authorities evacuated the aircraft. There were 141 passengers and six crew members traveling on the flight, according to ANP. They were received at an air base building, the Marechaussee confirmed.
Although the bomb threat referenced a flight from Prague to the Netherlands, it was not yet clear if the threat was directed at a Transavia flight which arrived in Eindhoven from Prague, an airport spokesperson told the newswire. Transavia flight 5234 departed the Czech capital just after 1:30 p.m. local time, and landed in Eindhoven at 2:53 p.m., according to the airport's website.
The Dutch military's explosive ordnance team will investigate the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800. The Marechaussee will also investigate with a specially trained sniffer dog. The Marechaussee is the branch of the military tasked with policing Dutch borders and airports.
"Passengers and crew will be escorted from the aircraft to the terminal of Eindhoven Air Base as soon as possible," the airport said on social media. Departing passengers are still able to check in for flights and continue through security checkpoints, despite the ground stop.
At least 20 out of 24 flights scheduled to depart at 2:45 p.m. or later were delayed.
Other aircraft en route to the second largest airport in the Netherlands will also be diverted. A flight from Madrid set arrive at 3 p.m. was diverted to Brussels. Other flights from Innsbruck and Rome were diverted to Schiphol Airport and Weeze Airport, respectively.
Aircraft arriving from Sofia and Skopje were sent to Maastricht.
European air traffic control organization Eurocontrol said just before 5 p.m. that the airspace would likely be closed until at least 6:20 p.m. "High delays" were expected as the airport recovers when the ground stop is lifted.