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Transport Watch

28 NOVEMBER 2020: USA

Reports emerged that Marcus Monroe, a New York actor, uploaded a video on TikTok allegedly cooking a steak over a fire he had lit in the toilet of a Delta flight. Monroe later stated that he had faked the video and that the prank was intended as a joke about the lack of food and drink options on flights during the pandemic.

11 NOVEMBER 2020: YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA

A Moscow-Yekaterinburg flight operated by Russia’s largest budget airline, Pobeda (a subsidiary of Aeroflot), made a number of diversions, tracing out a phallic shape in its flight path. It was suggested that the stunt was performed by the pilots in solidarity with the captain of the Russian national football team, who was dismissed following an alleged sex tape scandal. A deputy director at the airline was sacked in connection with the incident.

10 NOVEMBER 2020: HONG KONG, CHINA

An El Al aircraft was delayed at Hong Kong Airport for two days after a cat’s paw prints were found on board a flight. The flight arrived in Hong Kong from Tel Aviv, where it is believed the cat boarded the flight. Flight crews laid down traps and attempted to locate the cat for two days – flights are forbidden from taking off with an animal on the loose. The flight returned to Tel Aviv on 12 November.

28 DECEMBER 2020: NEW YORK, NEW YORK

An unnamed man ran from JFK after a loaded gun was found by TSA agents in his carry-on luggage. However, the man was quickly identified by the three forms of ID in his bag.

22 DECEMBER 2020: ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN

The refusal of air traffic control (ATC) staff to submit to screening by members of the Airport Security Force at New Islamabad International Airport resulted in a physical fight between the two groups. ATC staff subsequently commenced strike action in protest impacting airport operations.

22 DECEMBER 2020: BANGKOK, THAILAND

Ye Min Thu, a Burmese man, was arrested for trying to enter Suvarnabhumi Airport dressed as a pilot, and using a fake pilot’s licence as ID, in an incident the media described as reminiscent of the film Catch Me If You Can. Ye Min Thu had also portrayed himself to his girlfriend and family as being a qualified pilot. He was subsequently sentenced to eight months in prison.

14 DECEMBER 2020: FRESNO, CALIFORNIA

Nathan Larson, 40, a failed politician who ran for office in 2017 and campaigned for the legalisation of child pornography and incest, was intercepted by police at Denver International as he was in the process of trafficking a 12-year-old girl he had lured from her home in Fresno, California at 02:00 that morning. Larson had allegedly been grooming the child online since October. He made her take a ride-share taxi with him to Fresno Yosemite International, where he is believed to have touched her inappropriately before boarding a flight to Washington DC via Denver.

13 DECEMBER 2020: PARAPARAUMU, NEW ZEALAND

Kāpiti Airport was briefly closed as the police investigated a potential threat, which was instigated by comments made on social media. The airport was opened the next day.

11 DECEMBER 2020: CHANDIGARH, INDIA

Balkar Singh, 50, a police officer stationed at Mohali Airport accidentally shot himself dead at Chandigarh International Airport whilst he was cleaning his gun and trying to remove dirt around a bullet that was stuck.

7 DECEMBER 2020: KINGSTON, CANADA

A small aircraft that had taken off from Brampton Airport accidentally broadcasted a hijack signal within Kingston airspace. A police response was triggered at Norman Rogers Airport, where the aircraft landed.

4 DECEMBER 2020: DOUALA, CAMEROON

Customs officials at Doula International seized two cargo boxes concealing 80 vipers, cobras and lizards, which were due to fly to London. Upon being questioned, the passenger travelling with the animals presented false documentation, purportedly issued by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife.

2 DECEMBER 2020: USA

The US Transportation Department issued a ruling on the Air Carrier Access Act which banned emotional support animals flying as service animals on flights. Previously animal owners were allowed to fly with their emotional support animals for free if they could provide a supporting doctor’s note. The ruling also states that airlines can require a service animal to fit in the foot space of the handler.

1 DECEMBER 2020: UK

British Airways announced in July 2020 that it was grounding its Boeing 747 jets. 33 jets were scrapped immediately; two of the jets will be preserved. One of the jets, named ‘City of Swansea’, will retire at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey as an exhibit and the second jet will retire to Bro Tathan Business Park in the Vale of Glamorgan, where it will be recycled by eCube Solutions.

1 DECEMBER 2020: PHAPLU, NEPAL

Chitra Bahadur Gurung, 50, a police officer at Phaplu Airport, fell unconscious and died whilst on duty. It suspected that he suffered a heart attack.

30 NOVEMBER 2020: SOCHI, RUSSIA

Reports emerged that employees at Sochi Airport provoked Anastasia Lapshina’s beagle, Harpo, an Instagram star. Lasphina installed a camera in Harpo’s carrier, which recorded employees calling the dog names. Sochi Airport apologised to Lapshina for the incident.