Melbourne airport lockdown lifted after breach of security

CHARGED Trini-born aviation student Nishal Sankat is seen at left in this

Florida student jumps airport fence, tries to steal American Airlines passenger jet A student pilot has been arrested after he allegedly hopped a security fence, boarded and tried to steal an American Airlines passenger jet from the Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Florida.

The Florida Institute of Technology released a statement confirming that Sankat was a part-time student at their school and was studying aviation management. CNN reports he was unarmed, had no explosives, and after searching his home no links to terrorist groups were found.

Sankat, a student at Florida Institute of Technology, breached a fence on the airport's compound and boarded the plane. F-15 jets were scrambled to chase the plane, which crashed on Ketron Island, between Tacoma and Olympia, killing the pilot.

The plane's engines were not operating, Booker said, but an auxiliary engine that provided air conditioning was working.

Florida news outlets reported that Sankat was challenged by two workers who were on board the plane as he attempted to enter the cockpit.

The Minister noted that the Ministry of Education provides support for students through the Student Support Services Division with Social Workers and Guidance Counselors and for employees through the Employee Assistance Programme.


The young Sankat has been attending FIT since 2014 and recently petitioned to graduate in 2019, according to university officials.

But Booker noted that Sankat is not "type-rated" to fly the plane he walked onto. "All of us have a part to play in breaking the stigma of mental health and wellness and making it comfortable for persons who need help, to seek it", Garcia said.

The airport returned to normal after five hours, following a sweep of the airfield.

The Melbourne Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to the incident while the US Anti Terrorism Task Force was consulted to ensure it was an isolated incident.

The 26-year-old's daring dash interrupted airport operations for around five hours.

Police searched the student pilot's vehicle with a robotic arm to make sure no explosives were inside, Booker said. Only two flights were affected by the closure. "You're coming off this airplane.' I put him on the ground at the entrance door, got him on that golf cart, and we went into the hangar". Its last flight was out of Miami on Sunday.

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