Pudong International Airport has been banned from adding any new flights to its schedule after a lapse in security allowed a teenager from Sichuan to stow aboard a plane headed for Dubai.
Last month an industrious 16-year-old boy managed to sneak his way onto an Emirates Airlines flight, all so he could pursue his dreams of begging on the streets of Dubai where he was told he could earn 480,000 yuan ($72,000) a month.
Needless to say, regulators were not happy with the airport’s performance in the security department. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has announced it will carry out a safety evaluation at the airport, suspending all flight applications until it has finished.
At a meeting on Wednesday, after airport authority officials had been summoned to explain the situation, CAAC Deputy Director Li Jian said: “The incident is quite serious and has caused abominable influence. The airport authority must enhance safety management, especially for restricted areas at the airport.”
The stowaway, surnamed Xu, sneaked into the cargo hold of Emirates flight EK303 on May 26. He was arrested by airport police when the flight landed nine hours later and repatriated to China.
An investigation by the regulator’s east China branch found that Xu had taken Metro Line 2 to the airport, waited until it got dark and climbed a tree that enabled him to scale the 10-meter fence. He hid until he saw there was no one guarding the cargo door of the Emirates plane and climbed in.
“It is lucky the teenager was not a terrorist,” Huang Quan, a legal professor with the Civil Aviation University of China, told China Central Television. “The fence, security guards and surveillance cameras, which are the three major security measures at the airport, all became invalid in the incident.”