Plane turned around after alleged bomb threat

Last updated 10:22 05/05/2014

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A plane had to circle back to Auckland after a passenger who missed the flight allegedly claimed to have a bomb.

East Tamaki woman Christine Hawea appeared in Manukau District Court this morning, charged under the Civil Aviation Act with verbally providing another person with information relating to the safety of an aircraft knowing that information was false or in a manner reckless as to whether the information was false.

The charge carried a maximum penalty of one month imprisonment.

The 57-year-old did not enter a plea.

"Yea, I got a bomb do you want to look for it", Hawea allegedly said on Thursday after she missed her flight.

Those on the plane disembarked from the Air New Zealand flight to Napier before it was checked by Aviation Security.

On Thursday an Air New Zealand spokeswoman said a female passenger who was running late made the threat regarding the Q300 aircraft on which she was supposed to be travelling, and she was assisting police with their inquiries.

An Auckland Airport spokesman said the incident caused a runway to be closed for half an hour from 11.05am because of the "possible security issue".

Security found nothing amiss with the plane and it took off later that afternoon without further incident.

Hawea was due to appear again in Manukau District Court on May 26.

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