Unruly travellers on notice after AFP responds to disorderly incidents at Perth and Brisbane Airports

The AFP is reminding airline passengers that inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated after four separate incidents at Australian domestic airports this month.

AFP Acting Superintendent Shona Davis said airports were busier than they had been for years and police were targeting bad behaviour by travellers on the ground and in the air.

“Inappropriate or illegal behaviour at airports or on board aircraft will not be tolerated by the AFP,” Acting Superintendent Davis said.

“Conduct that is abusive to airport or airline staff and endangers their safety – and the safety of other travellers – is treated seriously and may result in an arrest. These recent arrests serve as a warning to all airline passengers that there is no excuse for bad or violent behaviour, and there will be consequences.”

The AFP was called to the first incident earlier this month after airline staff refused to allow a 48-year-old man to board a domestic flight from Perth because he was allegedly too intoxicated.

The man was allegedly aggressive towards police and lunged at the officers before being restrained and arrested. He was issued with a Criminal Code Infringement Notice for acting in a disorderly manner in a public place under section 74A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

Later the same day, AFP officers at Perth were called to meet an inbound flight from Melbourne following reports a 33-year-old man had allegedly lit a cigarette while the aircraft was in flight and provided illicit drugs to another passenger.

Police searched the man’s belongings and allegedly found prohibited drugs, which were seized. He was charged with possessing a prohibited drug under section 6 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 (WA).

The man entered a plea of guilty on 13 May 2022 in Perth Magistrates Court and was fined $450.

While officers were attending to the 33-year-old man, a 34-year-old man approached them and allegedly made physical contact with one officer. The man was arrested and removed from the terminal. Investigations are continuing on this matter.

In a separate incident last week a 33-year-old man was taken into custody after a Sydney to Darwin flight was diverted to Brisbane in response to the man’s alleged disorderly conduct on board. The man was charged with aviation offences and appeared before Brisbane Magistrates Court on 19 May 2022. He was granted bail and is scheduled to reappear in the same court on 1 July.

Antisocial or illegal behaviour is unacceptable in any setting and the AFP will not tolerate it at Australia’s airports.

When travelling through the airport and when on a plane, members of the public are bound by Australian law. Where there is evidence of substantive offences, the AFP will take action.

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