Specialized RCMP unit dealing with suspicious package at Victoria airport – Victoria News

A suspicious package that prompted the shutdown of the departures area at Victoria International Airport (YYJ) when discovered Tuesday afternoon will be dealt with this evening by a specialized unit, according to Sidney/North Saanich RCMP Cpl. Andres Sanchez.

Police responded to a call about the mysterious package at about 1:30 pm (May 24), and by about 3 pm all incoming and outgoing flights had been canceled out of an abundance of caution, Sanchez said, a strategy that took some time given it is an international airport.

The item in question is in a safe location and does not pose a public safety risk, he said. The goal is to have the airport operating as per normal by Wednesday morning, but Sanchez said that decision will ultimately be up to the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA).

VAA was advising travelers to avoid the airport shortly after the situation was determined to be potentially unsafe, and check in with their carriers about flight information, but many passengers looking to board afternoon flights had already or didn’t hear the warning.

Kitchener, Ont. resident Michael Parkinson and his daughter had gone through security already when they learned about their flight cancellation, but previously noticed what Parkinson called an unusual police presence at around 2 pm in the departures area.

As their airline (Flair) does not fly again until Saturday, they planned to look for a flight out of Vancouver to be able to get home sooner so Parkinson’s daughter can make her scheduled work shifts this week.

“We’re a bit stuck for sure,” he said. As for the security and the cancellations, he added, “I’d rather be safe than sorry.”

Calgary resident Colleen Kenney found out at roughly 4:30 pm her flight home was canceled and was told her flight landed in Vancouver and that no further flights were coming in to Victoria airport this evening. She seemed to take the situation in stride.

“It’s not great, but these days with air travel there’s always something, you get used to it,” she said. “We’re going to find a restaurant and a place to stay and try to rebook our flight for tomorrow.”

BC Ferries earlier reported some availability on its Tuesday evening sailings departing Swartz Bay, as passengers scrambled to make connecting flights. Many in the air terminal late Tuesday afternoon were talking about changing their plans and heading for the ferries.

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Breaking NewsSaanich Peninsula

Leave a Comment