Student in Custody after Airport Incident

posted by Alan McBride - 

Authorities at Orlando Melbourne International Airport say a 22-year-old student is facing numerous charges after an incident early Thursday morning.

According to investigators, a suspect identified as Nishal Sankat had jumped a security fence at the airport and sprinted to a vacant American Airlines Airbus.

Authorities say the aircraft was parked, with its wheels chocked, and maintenance workers were on board cleaning the interior.

They say Sankat made it onto the aircraft flight deck when one of the workers stopped him, and asked for identification.

They say Sankat then tried to make a run for it but the workers held him for airport police, who arrived literally within two minutes.

According to reports from the authorities, Sankat had left his car parked and running outside the terminal before jumping the fence and heading to the jet.

Police say a search of Sankat's car and home turned up no signs of weapons or explosives.

Investigators add that Sankat has no criminal history and, at this time, there is no evidence connecting events to anything terror-related.

Authorities say that Sankat is in the US legally on a Canadian passport, and is a dual citizen of that country and Trinidad and Tobago.

It was confirmed that Sankat was a part-time student at the Florida Institute of Technology and was studying aviation management

.School officials add that Sankat had completed some flight training in the past.

Airport authorities say he was not certified to fly the aircraft he got into, so would not have been able to do anything even if it had been flight-ready.

Investigators say Sankat has been cooperating, though his motive for boarding the plane remains unclear so far.

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