Airport lockdown as man locks himself in 747 cockpit
Heathrow Airport was on lockdown Saturday after a man breached the security perimeter and climbed aboard an empty British Airways Boeing 747, where he locked himself in the cockpit.
Louis Pedro Verdasca dos Santos Costa was charged with three offences, including unlawfully being aboard an aircraft.
The 38-year-old gained access to the British Airways engineering base at Hatton Cross, part of Heathrow Airport and was seen climbing aboard an empty 747 aircraft.
He fled to the flight deck and locked himself in the cockpit when he was challenged by BA staff, according to local media reports.
London fire fighters were unable to breach the aircraft’s bomb and bulletproof cockpit door and eventually had to break the cockpit windows.
"It is a terrifying situation when you think about it. Here is a man who not only has managed to go air-side at one of the world's busiest airports but he has successfully got to a Boeing 747 jet liner and found it open and was able to climb aboard,” said an airport official who asked not to be named.
"Then he has got onto the flight deck and barricaded himself in using the plane's own anti-terrorist equipment,” the man added.
Police confirmed there was an incident at Heathrow on a stationary aircraft, but said that terrorism is not suspected.