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Mental issues may explain Air NZ diversion

September 4, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Mystery surrounds the circumstances that led an international Air New Zealand flight to divert on Thursday after an “incident” with a passenger – which led to no charges being laid.

The pilot of Air New Zealand’s flight NZ 175 from Auckland to Perth decided to divert to Adelaide, where Australian Federal Police (AFP) met the B787 Dreamliner and removed an allegedly disruptive passenger.

New Zealand news site reported that the passenger, a man, was “reported to have had mental health issues and charges weren’t expected to be laid”.

It quoted an Air New Zealand spokeswoman saying that the man had failed to comply with directions given by flight crew.

No passengers were injured and the crew were trained to deal with such incidents, she said.

The flight took off again after the man was removed, arriving in Perth at 4.33pm local time, two hours late.

Whether the man had mental health issues before boarding the plane is not known.

A few years ago, Australian counter-terrorism expert Clive Williams urged authorities to set up a watch list of mentally disturbed people, suggesting that those with violent tendencies should be banned from flying.

The then president of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, barrister Cameron Murphy, denounced the suggestion, describing it as “extraordinary” and saying it was clearly in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Written by Peter Needham

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