Passengers evacuated in Melbourne Airport security breach

More than 1000 people have been evacuated from Melbourne Airport’s international departure lounge, after a security breach.

Melbourne Airport spokeswoman Anna Gillett confirmed “a minor security breach” occurred at 8.45am Sunday in international departures.

She said the breach meant 1700 passengers had to be evacuated and then rescreened by airport security.

Retail crew and airport staff in the international departure lounge were also evacuated. She said 32 flights experienced delays of up to two-and a-half-hours, including 23 departures and nine inbound flights. 

Flights returned to schedule at 2.30pm Sunday and there had been no reports of passengers affected by the security breach missing flights, she said.

She said the incident occurred at a peak time for international flights at the airport. 

Ms Gillett said the evacuation was “procedural” and done only as a precaution.

“There’s no danger posed to anyone, there’s absolutely no risk,” she said.

She said the airport did not comment on security issues.

Passengers took to social media to express their confusion and frustration.

Brad Newcombe tweeted: “Melbourne Airport security breach. Everyone has to exit and be re-screened. #joooooke #getmeouttahere”.

Alex Hagan tweeted at 11am that the queue of people at Melbourne Airport “now extends from T2 to T3, back thru T2, T1, and outside”.

Angus Florance, of Chadstone, waited for more than an hour on a plane after landing in Melbourne.

He had travelled from San Francisco via New Zealand and spent more than 20 hours in transit.

Speaking to Fairfax Media from the tarmac, Mr Florance said he had been told his plane was waiting to be assigned a gate.

“They are letting us walk around and getting us drinks, it’s not too bad,” he said. “I’m keen to come home.”

His wife Karla arrived at the airport around 11am and was waiting at arrivals for Angus to clear customs when she spoke to Fairfax Media.

“There was a lot of people standing around when I got here, it’s cleared out a bit now,” she said at noon.

"It's been crazy.’’