Airport Alert

LONDON, March 15, 2008 (AFP) – A Sri Lankan national appeared in court in London Saturday charged with endangering aircraft after a major security alert at the city’s main Heathrow airport.

Ketheeswaran Uthayakumar, who has no permanent address in Britain, was remanded in custody after a short hearing at Uxbridge Magistrate’s Court in west London. He will appear at the same court on Thursday.

The 27-year-old was detained on Thursday afternoon by armed police on the north runway at Heathrow, one of the world’s busiest airports, forcing the cancellation of a number of flights.

The security breach came a day before Queen Elizabeth II opened a new terminal at the airport. It was the second incident there in three weeks. On February 25, four activists from the environmental group Greenpeace staged a protest on top of a parked jet against plans to build a third runway.