The bomb scare resulted in the airport’s Concourse C being evacuated for several hours while local and federal officials investigated the incident.
Palm Beach International Airport has resumed normal operations after a bomb scare prompted the evacuation of one of the airport’s concourses. The incident occurred around 17:00 on Tuesday and was proven to be a false alarm after a thorough search by local police and federal officials.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office confirmed that deputies assigned to the airport responded to the incident Tuesday afternoon after a passenger was heard claiming he had explosives in his bag. The passenger in question was aboard Frontier Airlines flight number 2346, scheduled to depart the Florida airport at 17:02, bound for Philadelphia International Airport in Pennsylvania.
Local and federal officials investigate
Deputies for the sheriff’s department, alongside its Bomb & Arson detectives and FBI agents, responded to Concourse C in response to the verbal threat and evacuated all patrons in the concourse to the terminal area. The deplaned passengers were moved to Palm Beach International’s concourses A and B while the investigation proceeded.
The officers then conducted a thorough search of the plane and the concourse area, which met with negative results and subsequently cleared the area. Law enforcement also searched the passenger’s two checked bags, which had reportedly passed through two security checkpoints at the airport. The first bag was already on a plane, and airport staff had not yet loaded the second bag onto the aircraft. Officials didn’t specify the location of the second bag but confirmed they “put a bubble” around that area where it was located.
Passengers were cleared to re-enter the concourse C area shortly before 20:00 as the airport returned to normal operations. A total of 22 flights were delayed at the Florida airport on Tuesday, at least seven of which were due to the incident, including the original flight and another Frontier Airlines flight scheduled to depart at 20:08. The ongoing disruption was minimal, however, and there were zero cancelations due to the incident. When reached for comment by Simple Flying, a spokesperson for Frontier Airlines confirmed the airline was accommodating affected passengers:
“Earlier this evening, during the boarding process for Flight 2346 from West Palm Beach International Airport to Philadelphia International Airport, a passenger allegedly made a safety-related threat that prompted crewmembers to report the matter to local law enforcement. The security threat was investigated and resolved without incident.
“Currently, Flight 2346 has been delayed until tomorrow morning. The airline is working to secure hotel accommodations this evening for impacted customers.”
Photo: Frontier Airlines
The flight has now been pushed back to Wednesday morning and is scheduled to depart at 10:20 for the roughly two-hour flight to Philidelphia. The new arrival time is expected to be 12:29, a full 16 hours and 58 minutes late. The aircraft featured in the incident is one of Frontier’s Airbus A320neos, registration N334FR. It was the airline’s first A320neo made in Mobile, Alabama, and features a livery dedicated to the Stretch the Great Blue Heron. The endangered waterfowl found is known for its dagger-like bill, long legs, and flight speed of up to 48mph.
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Other airlines operating from Concourse C include Breeze Airways, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and Spirit Airlines.