Man banned from Air NZ flights, airport after bomb 'joke'

A man is blacklisted from Air New Zealand flights and is banned from Invercargill Airport after he joked he had a bomb in his bag before he was set to depart.

Stewart George Dempsey (58), of Napier, appeared today at Invercargill District Court facing a charge of endangering transport in relation to the incident last Friday.

The airport had to be evacuated after the "joke".

The charge sheet stated the man interfered with a transport facility, namely Invercargill Airport, with reckless disregard for the safety of the public.

Otago Daily Times understands the man allegedly said the joke when a staff member asked if he had any bags to check in, and he allegedly pointed to the bags and said it was the ones which had bombs in it.

Duty Lawyer David Slater said the man was blacklisted from Air New Zealand and banned from the Invercargill Airport.

Dempsey drove from Napier to Invercargill to bring a car and was checking in for a flight back to his hometown when the incident happened.

However, since he has been blacklisted, Dempsey would need to drive for days to return to home, he said.

Judge Michael Turner remanded the man without a plea and prohibited him to enter or drive within 1km from Invercargill Airport.

His next appearance was scheduled for February

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