Unruly passenger causes Newark airport flight to be hijacked, officials say
An unruly passenger directed a United Airlines flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to divert to an airport in Virginia on its way to Costa Rica on Wednesday morning, officials said.
United Flight 1080 took off from Newark Airport around 8:30 a.m. and diverted to Dulles International Airport, where the plane landed around 11 a.m., according to flight tracking records. The plane continued to the gate and the disruptive customer was dismissed, according to United Airlines.
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police, fire crews and other law enforcement officials responded and the passenger was transported to a local hospital, an airport authority spokesperson said. The incident was under investigation by the FBI, the spokesperson said.
Authorities did not provide further details about the passenger or the circumstances surrounding the incident.
In a statement, the Washington FBI. DC’s field office confirmed that officers responded to “incident reports aboard a diverted flight to Dulles.”
“We are working with our partners and have no further information to provide at this time,” the FBI statement said.
According to FlightAware records, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft took off from Dulles around 1:30 p.m. local time for its original destination, Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, the capital of Costa Rica.
Citing a “worrying increase” in cases of unruly passengers, the Federal Aviation Administration has adopted a tougher enforcement policy instead of issuing warnings. The FAA can issue fines to disruptive air travelers, while incidents can also result in federal criminal charges. FAA officials said in April that there had been a drop in incidents this year.
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Noah Cohen can be reached at [email protected]Mr.