A bomb scare at Hawke's Bay Airport at the weekend is being heralded as a "timely reminder" of security risks, and airport safety.

On Sunday evening emergency services were called, planes were grounded, and the airport was evacuated after an unidentified bag was left at the terminal.

A police spokeswoman said they were called about 7pm about the bag, and assisted with an evacuation around 7.20pm. Just 15 minutes later, people were allowed back inside the terminal after it was confirmed the bag was just lost property.

Those arriving at the airport on Sunday evening were not allowed to disembark - such as passengers of a 6.30pm Jetstar flight from Auckland.


Napier resident Josh, who did not want his last name used, said when their flight arrived they were told to remain on board, but were not told of the bomb scare.

The 19-year-old said he found out what was happening through a text from his father, who had been evacuated from the airport.

The passengers spent about 20 minutes on board before they could disembark. Josh said he had not been worried, as he doubted anyone would want to harm an airport the size of Hawke's Bay's.

Airport Operations Manager Olivia Pierre said Sunday's evacuation appeared to have gone smoothly, and while there would always be learnings, correct process was followed.

She said the bag had been discovered by their security team. When no one claimed it, an initial assessment was carried out, before the police were called.

The bag was reunited with its owner yesterday morning. Ms Pierre said the owner lived far away from the airport, and so had not realised for a while that his bag was missing.

"It's just a timely reminder that we're a security conscious airport," she said. "Any unattended bags are treated as potentially serious, so people should be reminded to keep your bags close to yourself."

She added putting name tags on bags was also a good idea, as it meant owners could be easily identified, and situations like Sunday's avoided.