The Eindhoven Airport terminal was closed on Thursday afternoon and flights were cancelled after an object “resembling a firearm” was found in a passenger’s hand luggage at a security checkpoint, said a spokesperson for the Marechaussee, the branch of the Dutch military that patrols borders and airports. At least nine flights were cancelled by 5:15 p.m., including eight departures.
Security checkpoints reopened about two hours after the discovery, but the terminal remained closed. It is not yet clear how this affected air traffic to and from the airport.
It is not yet clear whether it a firearm was actually discovered. The Marechaussee gets called in by default whenever such an incident is reported, according to the spokesperson. The object appeared on a scan at the security control point.
The terminal was expected to remain closed for the time being until the queues at the security control were eliminated, according to the Marechaussee. After that, the terminal could also open again. Images showed that it was busy at the airport and that there were also many passengers waiting outside.
Travelers were no longer allowed to enter the terminal starting at approximately 1:15 p.m. The people who were already inside were allowed to remain there. By about 3 p.m., the airport reported that the security check had reopened and that the terminal would be accessible again “as soon as possible.”
The airport said, “We will reopen the terminal as soon as possible. Check the website for the current flight schedule. Canceled flights are listed on this website.” The airport asked passengers whose flight were canceled to go home and rebook online, as it is not possible to handle that issue at the airport.
The airport’s website showed eight cancelled departures, one cancelled arrival, and five arriving flights which were diverted to other airports. Ten flights in and out of the airport were also listed as “delayed” on the Eindhoven Airport flight schedule website.
The European air traffic control center, Eurocontrol, wrote in its 4:45 p.m. tactical update, “Airport not available for arrivals until 17:00 [UTC] due to security staff shortage.”