Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Florida has been reopened after a 26-year-old student pilot from Trinidad breached the airport’s security early on Thursday.
According to reports from US news outlets, the man drove to the airport, parked at the curb, left his car running, scaled a barbed-wire fence and boarded an Airbus 321 American Airlines aircraft at a maintenance facility, disrupting travel at the facility.
Airport maintenance workers spotted him getting onto the aircraft and in the space of two minutes, they tackled him and held him until the authorities arrived.
He was taken into custody by Melbourne police just minutes later.
Two flights were delayed and employees and passengers were removed from the terminal during the incident.
The 26-year-old’s daring dash interrupted airport operations for around five hours.
Airport spokeswoman Lori Booker said officials conducted a sweep of the airfield before reopening the airport.
A robotic arm was used to search the man’s car to make sure there were no explosives. The car was then towed from the airport.
Booker confirmed that the Trinidad-born man, who entered the United States through Canada, has a Florida driver’s license. He has a pilot’s license, but it’s unclear whether he was enrolled in a local school.
He was taken to the Brevard County Jail.
His name has not yet been released.
Police, the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force are involved in the investigation.