Airport reopens after bag alert

Times Series: Edinburgh Airport has started the process of reopening after being evacuated Edinburgh Airport has started the process of reopening after being evacuated

Hundreds of passengers were left stranded as flights were cancelled at Scotland's busiest airport due to a security alert.

There was huge disruption at Edinburgh Airport for more than three hours when staff found a "potentially suspicious bag" in the security check area at about 2pm today.

Around 100 travellers were evacuated from the airport terminal to a nearby multi-storey car park, while others who had already passed through security remained in the departures area.

Passengers on flights that landed around the time of the alert were left on planes and later moved to a nearby hotel. Roads around the airport were also closed.

Outbound flights to the Northern Isles, London, Paris and the East Midlands were cancelled with many others delayed, while inbound flights from London, Brussels, Tenerife, Manchester, Birmingham and Belfast were also cancelled.

EasyJet flights from Berlin and Munich were among a handful diverted to Glasgow Airport.

Police concluded that there was no threat and the airport has now reopened but disruption to flights is expected to continue.

Chief Inspector David Campbell said: ''As part of a routine bag search at the airport, suspicions were raised about the contents of one item of hand luggage and the decision was taken to evacuate the airport while the appropriate inquiries could be carried out.

''We are now satisfied there isn't, nor was there ever, any risk to the public and the airport will now begin to reopen.

''We would like to thank the public for their patience and co-operation during the emergency service response.''

Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said departures are expected to resume after 8pm.

He said: "The challenge now will be to get the airport back up to full operation.

''We'll do that relatively quickly but inevitably passengers and aircraft may not be where we need them and it will be a number of hours yet before we can get to some normality.

''We know this causes huge disruption and upset to people, we have done our best to mitigate that and make people as comfortable as possible in the circumstances but it's a cold wet day in Edinburgh, there's limited facilities when the terminal is shut and we just want to make sure people can now get away on their travels as best as possible.

''All we can do now is keep people informed, try to help the airlines get back to normality and get as many people away on their journey as possible.''

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