Man faces court over alleged mid-air threats
A CAIRNS man, accused of a wild outburst on a Jetstar plane resulting in the service returning to Perth mid-flight, has been granted bail in a West Australian court.
Police alleged Andrew David Bartlett, 45, threatened to "blow up the plane", swore and spoke about porn with children about an hour into the Perth to Cairns flight early yesterday.
The captain made the decision to turn the plane around and it landed at Perth Airport about 2.45am.
Mr Bartlett was arrested by Australian Federal Police officers who boarded the plane and took him into custody.
He appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court yesterday morning charged with one count of threats regarding aviation security and was given bail before the case was adjourned to Broome in February.
The offence carries a maximum penalty of $10,500.
An AFP spokesman said it was alleged the man made a number of offensive comments to other passengers, which included threatening to "blow up the plane", swearing and talking about pornography with passengers under the age of 18 years.
Passengers advised the airline crew of the behaviour, which resulted in the decision to return the aircraft to Perth.
It is understood the man fell asleep as the flight returned to Perth.
A Jetstar spokesman confirmed a passenger allegedly became "disruptive" and failed to follow crew instructions.
"The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we have zero tolerance for any kind of disruptive or abusive behaviour," he said.
He said a replacement service was arranged for yesterday afternoon and thanked passengers for their patience.
The man has also been banned from flying Jetstar or Qantas again. The flight was due to land at Cairns Airport just after 10pm last night.
Perth Airport police Commander Peter Brindal said the AFP worked closely with the aviation industry to ensure the safety and security of the travelling public.
"The AFP takes all threats regarding aviation security seriously and will take action against travellers who engage in offensive behaviour," he said.