Qantas has advised Australian Business Traveller that "Melbourne Airport terminal is now operating normally", although "some delays are expected to domestic Qantas flights" due to the disruption and delayed flights from Melbourne.
As many as 5,000 passengers at Melbourne's Qantas domestic terminal are being evacuated due to a security breach which took place this morning.
Australian Business Traveller is told that a person gained access to the secured or 'sterile' area of the terminal by walking through the exit doors of the baggage collection area, which are intended only for arriving passengers.
As the man had not been through the airport's security screening system, the terminal – used by both Qantas and Jetstar – was evacuated.
This involves between 4,000 and 5,000 passengers booked on domestic flights, who will now all need to be re-screened by security. A Qantas spokesperson says this process alone will take at least one and a half hours.
The knock-on effect for passengers and delayed flights is expected to impact schedules throughout the day, including departures from Sydney which rely in the turnaround of incoming aircraft from Melbourne.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, "the breach exposes a gap in the terminal's security for which Qantas is responsible, as there is (sic) no security officers permanently stationed at the "out" doors to watch passenger movements".
Readers at Sydney domestic airport tell us that several flights from Sydney to Melbourne have already been cancelled, due to delays in Melbourne departures following this morning's security breach.
Australian Business Traveller suggests that anyone travelling to Melbourne today should contact Qantas to check on the status of their flight, especially if you're flying down from Sydney.