Shanghai Airport Authority fined over Emirates teenage stowaway

Authority fined for failing to maintain safety initiatives including fences at airport hub



The Chinese civil aviation regulator has fined Shanghai Airport Authority 80,000 yuan (Dhs 44,000) for allowing a teenager stowaway to board an Emirates flight from China to Dubai last month.

The 16-year-old  Xu Xiaojun, from southwest China’s Sichuan Province, was discovered in the cargo hold of theAirbus A380 jumbo aircraft on arrival nine hours later from Pudong International Airport. The teenager later told police he had illegally boarded the flight after hearing begging was lucrative in Dubai, it was reported at the time.

He was arrested at Dubai International, where he was detained before being repatriated to China.

The authority was fined $4,500 (30,000 yuan) over its failure to maintain the fences, eliminate safety risks and stop the invasion to the airport’s restricted area on time, according to a report in Shanghai Daily.

The country’s civil aviation regulator issued a further fine of $7,500 for failing to take effective protection to the aircraft berthing at the airport.

The airport authority is found to have violated the civil aviation safety regulation after an investigation on the incident,” the East China Administration of China’s civil aviation regulator said.

In a statement to Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Shanghai Airport Authority said it has carried out its own inspection on the airport’s security and ensured the the safety risks have been improved.

At the time of the boy’s arrest, Chinese media quoted a translator for the Dubai prosecution service as saying that the teen had “risked his life sneaking into Dubai because he heard an online rumour that even beggars in the city can earn several hundred thousand yuan a month”.

The boy also reportedly said that “the cargo compartment of the plane was very comfortable, although he did not eat anything during the nine-hour flight”.

Pundong Airport is the world’s 25th busiest, with an estimated 25m passengers passing through every year.