Ski boot heater causes bomb scare and shuts down Queenstown airport

Queenstown Airport was sent into chaos yesterday as a bomb threat led to evacuations and lockdowns, flight cancellations and more before the New Zealand Defence Force bomb squad showed up.

A potential security treat was detected during baggage screening – an electronic device with wires hanging off it and packed next to a computer inside a bag. Appropriate emergency security protocols were then initiated.

The terminal was evacuated around 8.40am and the airport remained closed until 3pm with over 25 flights impacted. Passengers were evacuated to the car park and then further afield to Queenstown Events Centre.

The New Zealand Defence Force assessed the flagged device in a controlled environment and the cause of the threat turned out to be a ski boot heater. 


Extra flights have been added throughout this weekend to address the demand caused by yesterday’s safety closue.

Both domestic and cross Tasman extra flights have been added.

The backcountry guide who survived a deadly snake bite (just)

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.