Man fined for locking himself in cockpit
Intruder broke into jet at Heathrow
A MAN who locked himself into a British Airways plane at Heathrow Airport, sparking a ‘terrifying’ security scare, has been handed a fine for the offence.
Luis Pedro Verdasca dos Santos Costa, 38, of Stonehill Road, Hounslow, was charged on Saturday March 5 with two counts: of unlawfully being airside, and unlawfully being on an aircraft.
He entered a guilty plea at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Saturday March 19, and was fined £100 for entering the airport terminal.
He was also made to pay an additional £100 and a £20 victim surcharge for boarding the BA plane.
He originally entered a not guilty plea at a hearing at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on March 7 but, after briefly going missing following this hearing, he changed it to guilty ahead of the scheduled trial.
The security scare was sparked on Saturday, March 5 when Costa slipped through the airport’s perimeter fence and boarded the empty BA 747 jet at BA Engineering Base at Hatton Cross, where the plane was parked.
He then barricaded himself inside the bomb and bullet-proof cockpit, designed to protect those flying the plane from acts of terrorism during a flight.
A source, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Mirror Online that it was a ‘terrifying situation’.
The source said: “It was a very difficult and complex situation and the fire brigade had to be called and carried out a long and very protracted operation to get into the cockpit. Eventually they managed to gain access to the cockpit and police were able to storm in and arrested the intruder.”
The source continued: “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.
“Then he has got onto the flight deck and barricaded himself in using the plane’s own anti-terrorist equipment.”
A Heathrow spokesman said: “Safety and security are always our main priority and we take incidents involving either very seriously indeed.
“Individuals illegally entering the airside environment potentially endanger their own lives and those of others. We work closely with the police and keep security under constant review.”