Everyone knows the items that you cannot take through airport security. Liquids over 100ml, knives, weapons, radioactive materials, etc. But thanks for an incident in Russia we have one more item to add… bears.
A Russian Airport has gone into lockdown after a bear attempted to pass through security and board a flight, as reported by the Siberian Times.
What are the details?
Yelizovo airport is the main aircraft hub for access to the Kamchatka peninsula, situated on the far east Russian Pacific coast. Because of its remote nature, occasionally wild animals wander into town.
In this case, a curious brown bear decided that he would like to visit the airport and wandered through the personal access gate, startling security and causing the airport to go into lockdown.
‘Report about a brown bear, walking in the early hours around the city airport was received by Yelizovo ground service. The bear was also seen next to a fuel station and the headquarters of Yelizovo aviation enterprise’, said a statement from the administration of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the Siberian Times.
You can see a CCTV clip of the incident here:
Passengers who were waiting to enter the airport for a full flight to Moscow were told to stay away from the dangerous creature. Security locked the main terminal building (which is rather small) and flights were delayed until armed animal rangers could arrive to deal with the situation.
A security guard, to monitors access to the airstrip, remarked “Look who we have here at 5.30am. And without ID, too!” when reporting it to the press.
‘While information about the bear was passed to all relevant wildlife authorities, we are asking you take extra care’, remarked the Airport in an information alert.
Brown bears can be especially dangerous, and chance encounters have unfortunately killed two people in the region so far this year. The first was a fisherman and the second a hiker in a forest. Despite there being thousands of brown bears living in the wild around the region (and into Alaska), it is quite rare to see one wander this far into town (with a population of 180,000) and into a major airport.
What is Yelizovo Airport?
As we mentioned above, Yelizovo airport is the main access airport to the dramatic, volcano filled Kamchatka peninsula.
Currently, five airlines serve the airport. Aurora, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Air Enterprise, Rossiya Airlines, S7 Airlines, and Yakutia Airlines. These aircraft are mostly run on routes to either remote towns in the region, or domestic destinations such as the city of Vladivostok and Moscow.
However, it would be amiss to not mention that Yakutia Airlines actually operates full international services from the airport to Tokyo and Anchorage, Alaska.
The airport is currently having its runway extended and a new terminal building being built.
Wait…what happened to the bear?
The best part of this story? So far rangers have not been able to find the bear. After this moment, the bear wandered between hangers and the runway and vanished. There have been several sightings since but no luck!
Whilst it is very likely that the bear simply moved on to the forest next to the airport, we at Simple Flying like to think he promptly boarded a flight and joined us in the world of aviation!
What do you think? Have you ever seen anything like this? Let us know in the comments.