Daya Timsina says it was a scary situation on Wednesday when she was busy serving customers at Budley’s Restaurant and Lounge at the Charlottetown Airport and a police officer approached and told her the building was being evacuated.
“We were serving our customers and the dining room was full,” she said. “I was very worried. I told everyone to evacuate the building … We were very nervous. We had no idea what was going on.”
Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority, said the building was evacuated at around 3:20 p.m. He said the airport’s screening officer noticed a possible IED (improvised explosive device) in a carry-on bag.
“They took the proper procedure to set off the alarm and notify city police,” Newson explained.
“Thankfully, at the end of the day, it was not an IED. But, you have to take all the precautionary measures that you can to make sure that the safety of your passengers and employees is the number one priority.”
The airport authority had a bus on hand so people removed from the building could keep warm.
The Charlottetown Police Service responded to the scene and cleared the package. By 4 p.m., passengers were heading back into the airport and once again going through screening, said Newson.
Only one flight (to Halifax) was delayed.
Newson said incidents involving suspicious packages are rare for the Charlottetown Airport.
“It’s not something that happens often, especially an IED,” he said.