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Flights halted after car crash

A woman crashes her car through a fence and onto the Brisbane airport tarmac Tuesday night, forcing an emergency stop to all flights for two hours.

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Brisbane Airport’s operations manager says high security fencing will ensure G20 leaders won’t be placed at risk in November, following an incident in which a woman used a car to smash her way on to the airfield.

The car was travelling about 35km/h when it crashed through the fence near the domestic terminal on Tuesday night, travelling a further 400 metres before stopping on the tarmac about 200 metres from the runway.

BAC operations manager Stephen Goodwin said “tier 3” fencing - capable of withstanding a moving car - had already been installed in areas where G20 planes would land.

The fence area breached when a woman drove a car onto the Brisbane Airport airfield.

The fence area breached when a woman drove a car onto the Brisbane Airport airfield. Photo: Kristian Silva

Mr Goodwin also said the airport was midway through a $2 million plan to install tier 3 fencing around 15 kilometres of the 27-kilometre perimeter by August.

Ground-based radar technology, to detect unauthorised people and objects, will also be set up.

He confirmed the fence area that was breached on Tuesday night was earmarked to be upgraded.

“Every time anything like this would occur - which is very rare - we examine all of our mitigators and look for a better solution,” Mr Goodwin said.

Mr Goodwin said Tuesday night’s incident was brought under control within six minutes, with airport tower staff notifying surveillance teams as soon as the car broke through the fence.

“In less than two minutes we knew exactly where she was and were able to corral her [towards a drain area],” he said.

The damaged area was fixed by Wednesday morning.

Mr Goodwin dismissed suggestions that the airport security was not up to scratch, saying multiple layers of surveillance inside and outside the property were of a high standard.

“[The public] can rest assured that it’s a very secure airport that we run here and be thankful the layers we have in place worked last night and worked effectively,” he said.

He said a similar security breach had occurred about five years ago, which led to more surveillance cameras being installed.

A 37-year-old woman remains in hospital after she was arrested by Australian Federal Police. No charges have been laid.

Airport officials said Tuesday’s incident caused 16 flights to be delayed - one less than the corporation orginally reported. Five were asked to remain in holding patterns above the site, and a further five were diverted to Coolangatta.