British Columbia

Michael Joseph Howells charged after Kelowna Westjet flight threat

A man has been charged after he allegedly threatened a Westjet flight travelling from Kelowna to Calgary.

Flight was diverted, luggage was searched as a result of threat

Michael Joseph Howells is led away in handcuffs by police at the Kelowna International Airport. (Brady Strachan/CBC)

A 35-year-old Alberta man, Michael Joseph Howells is facing several charges in connection with a threat to a flight at the Kelowna International Airport.

Kelowna RCMP and emergency personnel rushed to the airport Saturday afternoon after police received a report of a possible threat to an outbound flight headed to Calgary.

Passengers on the flight, which originated from Edmonton, were held up for more than two hours as police officers with sniffer dogs searched the aircraft, their luggage, and luggage belonging to passengers set to board the ongoing leg to Calgary.

Police say nothing of concern was found.

Hours later, police officers were seen taking Howells in handcuffs to a secured area at the airport. Investigators say he is from Alberta and currently living in Summerland, B.C.

RCMP says the Edmonton flight was never subject to the threat and the passengers were never in danger but, out of an abundance of caution, the flight was isolated and searched.

Howell is charged with uttering threats, public mischief, possession of controlled substance, endangering aircraft by false information and mischief.

With files from Brady Strachan