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Inert military supplies result in Victoria Airport closure

The airport is open and operating again.

On the afternoon of May 24, 2022 Sidney / North Saanich RCMP were contacted by employees at the Victoria International Airport after a checked bag with suspicious looking items was located at the departures check in.

When the bag was examined through the typical scanning process, a Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) employee became concerned as it appeared to contain suspicious looking items. Two of those items appeared as incendiary devices.

Sidney / North Saanich RCMP members were immediately contacted and travelled to the airport.  They conducted a brief investigation and immediately took the man who claimed responsibility for the bag into custody.

An area of the Victoria International Airport was cordoned off at a distance recommended by explosive disposal experts. As the investigation progressed a second bag also belonging to the same individual was discovered, this bag could not safely be scanned or examined.

Out of an abundance of caution, and with consultation with both NavCan and Victoria Airport Authorities, it was decided that the departures wing would be temporarily closed to ensure the safety of the public.

Members of the RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit (EDU) were requested and they arrived at the scene to provide their specialized expertise.  They removed and examined the bags and quickly determined the items to be inert military surplus explosives.

“The RCMP is reminding travellers to confirm the items you are travelling with are permitted on aircraft or that you have prior permission to travel with certain items,” said Cpl Andres Sanchez, Media Liaison Officer with the Sidney North Saanich RCMP.

The RCMP investigation continues, and the individual who brought the bags and items has been released with an upcoming court date.

The Victoria International Airport has reopened for travel and there is no further threat to the public.