View Full Version : Drunken ravers cross LTN’s runway

LTN man
12th Aug 2001, 13:54
Five drink and drug fuelled ravers breached airport security at Luton by making a dash across the runway. The men penetrated the perimeter fence sparking a high-level alert.

The intruders are understood to have spent last Saturday night and Sunday morning at a nearby rave before breaching security.

An airport spokesman confirmed: “It was about 10am last Sunday and as soon as it was realised what was happening, our own security was alerted and the police was called. It was obvious that the youngsters had been drinking or taking something”

Police were treating the incident seriously, but said they would not be taking any action because trespass was a civil, not a criminal offence.

A police spokesman said “ we were contacted by airport security and immediately sent officer to the airport. We chased five men who had run across the runway to the car park".


Lou Scannon
12th Aug 2001, 14:18
Strange that the police took no action against these people. I was always told that they were there to enforce the airport by-laws which always had this sort of thing tied up.
Are they really saying that wandering across an active runway cannot result in some criminal prosecution under either an airport by-law or some security act?

Perhaps Luton should install security cameras and offer the police the proceeds from the fines-it certainly seems to encourage them to prosecute motorists!

Justin A Beaver
12th Aug 2001, 14:28
Trespass is a civil offence.

12th Aug 2001, 14:45
While trespass most certainly is a civil offence, surely breaching airport security, potentially causing damage to lights and other installations, potentially putting lives in danger (if an aircraft was attempting an approach at the time) is not a civil matter? I am very surprised that the police chose not to pursue the matter - do we have a PPruNer who can throw more light on why the ancillary offences cannot be pursued? Letting one group of ravers (probably on drugs not drink) breach security without penalty appears to be giving a green light to all and sundry to do the same! If I were a tango (terrorist) attempting to breach airport security to check on how best to get at a target airside this would seem to be perfect cover!!

I really don't understand ...


12th Aug 2001, 14:57
I'm afraid that in President Blah's Britain, the full force of the law is reserved for speeding motorists and people defending their own property. Wandering across an active runway or international terrorism hardly raises an eyebrow. :mad:

12th Aug 2001, 15:10
Too easy! :D

12th Aug 2001, 15:10
Similar thing happened at EDI last week.

A young guy was spotted by an aircraft lined up and ready to depart crossing the 06 threshold, fun and games ensued with Ops trying to catch the guy, with the crew of the jet looking on keeping an eye on him, because ATC can't see that end of the runway!!!

Seems we need better fences at our airfields!! :eek:

12th Aug 2001, 16:18
On a similar thread, when I did my airside driving course, the police instructor told me they have no juristiction regarding traffic offences airside. All infringments are monitored and dealt with by airfield ops, but they could be called in for certain criminal activities...

12th Aug 2001, 17:23
Lack of any sensible action by the police in this matter is unfortunately so typical of that profession. I would still not do their job, but I have no confidence in them whatsoever.
What is the view of Luton airport management to this incident?

12th Aug 2001, 19:40
I thought that if you were airside at an international like LTN you were subject to the anti terrorist laws that mean we all get into serious trouble if we dont wear our ID!

These laws, like those pertaining to jokes about guns etc in hold baggage, came into force post Lockerbie, apart from which surely the rwy is a customs controlled area. They might not have been so jolly had the order of the bottom inspectors got hold of them!

As several respondants have said however, had they been driving down the runway and doing over 70mph heaven help em! bear this in mind when approaching v1 :confused:

Cyclic Hotline
12th Aug 2001, 21:57
There wasn't a PPRuNe bash going on that night was there? :eek:

Simple explanation!! :D

12th Aug 2001, 22:22
Don't those signs hanging on the fences spell out chapter and verse ? ISTR a reference to the ANO.

Trinity 09L
12th Aug 2001, 23:58
Aviation & Maritime Security Act 1990 section 21c,Aviation Security Act 1982, Airports Act 1986, Airport Bye-laws(designation) Order,1987 just but few to digest, serve summons on those who gave their name & address as required, up beofre the beak, and less money in their account. :rolleyes:

13th Aug 2001, 00:36
Hmmm.....Drunken revellers on Runway.... :eek:
....aircraft landing/taking off.... :eek:

Sure that Charles Darwin feller had a theory about this....can't think of the name

Answers on the back of a 10,000,000 bankers draft to:

Swashplate Hall,
Milton Keynes,

...used notes also acceptable,but NO buliion...

13th Aug 2001, 01:45
The action of a few prats will now no doubt lead to the usual knee-jerk reaction and result in higher fences, making life difficult for the many enthusiastic and dedicated aviation photographers. It happened after a similar incident at BHX last year. Lots of new high fences errected.

13th Aug 2001, 02:43
Ok to clear a few points up. Much of the powers in law depend on the designation of the airport. The aerodromes are private property so therefore entering in the circumstances is most certainly a civil tresspass. However,various offences are created by a series of acts and byelaws which can be pursued at certain aerodromes only. I have to confess that I don't know which of these applies to Luton airport.

Most certainly at major airports where there is a full time police presence other offences are available to be pursued and are. The terrorism powers and offences do not apply in these cases unless the action is carried out for terrorist purposes.

The whole thing would be easier if there was one definitive piece of legislation that applied to all designations of aerodromes but that is not the case and so,whilst I accept valid critiscism of the Police (and they may have got it wrong - I don't know) I ask that you do not be so hasty in your judgemnt and blame pushing - it is bloody frustrating to come up with nothing when common sense says there is something wrong.

My own experience of such breaches was a case of a man who elected to death by jumbo and ran through a security gate a few years ago onto the main runway in the hope that a plane would land on him. He was found and was taken to hospital for phsychiatric treatment.

For the record I hate speed cameras too!! :D

13th Aug 2001, 11:19
Maybe the drunken "ravers" were BA pilots late for a depature??? :D

13th Aug 2001, 13:26
I've been to several raves, cant say I saw any drunks there.

13th Aug 2001, 13:52
If these 'late night revellers' were wearing their hi-viz surcoats, then they wouldn't have attracted much attention. Maybe their ravy coloured t-shirts were confused for hi-viz gear....

It seems that 'security' staff at most airports are more concerned with enforcing fashion mistakes and making our uniforms look really uncool, than with actually doing anything really productive! :eek:

Lou Scannon
13th Aug 2001, 14:12
So, back to the original thread. These people certainly committed the civil offence of trespass,but they also presumably broke the airport bye-laws and possibly the Air Navigation order and other national laws.

So why did the police release them without charge? Or is anyone allowed to wander at will across an active airport?

If so why should aircrew bother to submit to airport security on the way to their company's aircraft?

[ 13 August 2001: Message edited by: Lou Scannon ]

13th Aug 2001, 15:42
So what, they were having a good time and nobody got hurt. No harm, no foul..

13th Aug 2001, 18:20
Having done a little digging at lunchtime, according to the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990 section 21C.

(1) A person shall not—
(a) go, with or without a vehicle, onto any part of a restricted zone of— (i) an aerodrome, ...............except with the permission of the manager of the aerodrome..............or a person acting on behalf of that manager or authority, and in accordance with any conditions subject to which that permission is for the time being granted, or
(b) remain on any part of such a restricted zone after being requested to leave by the manager of the aerodrome............ or a person acting on behalf of that manager or authority.

(2) Subsection (1)(a) above does not apply unless it is proved that, at the material time, notices stating that the area concerned was a restricted zone were posted so as to be readily seen and read by persons entering the restricted zone.

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) above without lawful authority or reasonable excuse shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale."

Assuming that the runway and perimeter is "restricted", and providing that there were notices to this effect along the fence line, that would appear to indicate that any person in violation can be arrested.

:( :(

13th Aug 2001, 19:29
Actually, Newswatcher, I seem to recall from my limited exposure to criminal law (limited to a term of it at University) that a summary offence is one for which you may be summonsed to court, not arrested. An indictable offence would lead to an arrest.

[dons flak jacket and retreats to a dark corner whilst he waits for a criminal lawyer to tell him he's got it completely cockeyed...]

13th Aug 2001, 19:40
I am not a lawyer, but I am pretty sure that a summary offence is one that can only be heard by magistrates, and an indictable offence is one for the Crown Court. There is a big group of either-way offences in the middle which might be heard in either court, depending on the circumstances.

There is, however, a difference between an arrestable offence and a non arrestable one. Police Officers have to be very au fait with that one, and it is as well for the rest of us to be dead careful before trying a Citizens' Arrest. Get it wrong, and it can be expensive.

13th Aug 2001, 20:51

I'm not a lawyer - so please forgive me if I'm butting in on your turf - but I think JPJ may be correct.

The important difference is between Arrestable and Non-Arrestable offences - with an Arrestable offence being either defined as such in the Statute that creates the offence, or any offence carrying a period of imprisonment of, I think, 5 years or more.

Many defendants who will be tried in a Magistrates Court will have been arrested by the Police and brought to Court that way.

For example, in the UK "Drink Driving" is a summary only offence, and can only be tried in a Magistrates Court, but it is an offence for which one is arrested - after failing or refusing the roadside screening test.

As posted above, the likely penalties for a Police Officer who gets it wrong would seem to act as a considerable dis-incentive to swift and robust law enforcement!

[ 13 August 2001: Message edited by: Bellerophon ]

13th Aug 2001, 20:59
As I said, I always stand to be corrected :D . As a matter of interest, I also seem to recall (and hopefully my recollection will be a little better this time) that matters are made considerably more complicated by the fact that Joe Public may only safely effect a citizen's arrest where an offence has actually been committed by the person that one is trying to arrest. Only the police may arrest someone on suspicion of having carried out an arrestable offence. Another reason that store detectives are generally a cautious lot.

Few Cloudy
13th Aug 2001, 22:26
Well as a matter of fact, Interference with Public Transport IS a criminal offence - internationally.

This is the law under which louts on board were usually nabbed before the newer Air Rage laws started to come into effect.

The Sabena employees who held back a Swissair A-320 could also have been prosecuted under this law.

In my experience the local police are very loath to come to the assistance of Luton aircraft - go elsewhere if you want intervention from that source.