Woman ran down runway and scaled fence while waiting to board at US airport

Helena Regional Airport
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A woman who was waiting to board a flight in the United States (US) reportedly ran down the airport runway before scaling a fence.  

According to the Helena Independent Record, the incident happened on December 9, 2023, shortly after 6:30 am local time at Helena Regional Airport (HLN) in Montana, US.  

Local police confirmed on December 10, 2023, that officers had arrested a 42-year-old woman after officers were called to the airport due to a passenger who was “acting erratic”. 

The events unfolded before officers from the City of Helena Police Department arrived at the airport, but they were subsequently able to find and arrest the passenger. 

Local media reported that the woman was arrested on suspicion of trespassing and taken to the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center. 

According to Helena Regional Airport, more than 150,000 passengers travel through the airport each year, however, despite the relatively small number of passengers compared to larger city airports the incident will still be of concern.  

Aircraft close calls and near misses mean US airports are under an intense spotlight at present due to the significant rise in incidents over the past two years.  

On November 9, 2023, a US subcommittee met to hear evidence from aviation experts about the spike in aircraft close calls at airports over the last year.   

The senate committee was told that a shortage of air traffic controllers (ATCs) has led to a number of problems that have affected aviation safety.    

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