Birmingham Airport suspends operations after suspicious item reported on Belfast-bound plane

The airport had to close temporarily (PA)
The airport had to close temporarily (PA)

Birmingham Airport was forced to suspend operations on Tuesday, after a suspicious item was reported on a Belfast-bound plane.

The Aer Lingus flight had to return to the airport, where bomb squad vehicles were reportedly waiting for it.

But the item was declared “not suspicious” by the West Midlands Police.

The force said: “All passengers and crew have been evacuated safely and specialist officers including the dog unit have now searched the plane.“The incident is now being dealt as a false call with very good intent and the item is not suspicious.”

Flightradar24 is showing that the plane got as far as Stoke-on-Trent before it was turned around.

Birmingham Airport told the Standard: “The aircraft landed safely and all passengers and crew have disembarked.

“All customers due to travel should make their way to the airport and check in as normal.”

It has also confirmed that the airport was re-opened at 6pm.

“Customers are advised to check with their airline, or on the Birmingham Airport website,  before checking in due to potential delays,” a spokesperson said. Travel commentary X page SPD travels initially said the scare was about “a suspicious device found on an Aer Lingus flight to Belfast”.

Multiple flights are showing as delayed on the airport’s departure board.

On the arrivals board, several flights from France in particular are delayed.

Flights which were Birmingham-bound are now being diverted through the East Midlands Airport, Manchester Airport and Bristol Airport, according to traffic monitoring site Inrix.

The incident has also caused delays to train lines serving the airport - Avanti West Coast, Cross Country, London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway.

National Rail said: “Lines have reopened following the emergency services dealing with an incident at Birmingham International.

“As a result, trains may still be cancelled, delayed by up to 50 minutes or diverted.”