CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland Hopkins International Airport had to temporarily shut down Wednesday night on the busy day before Thanksgiving after a person drove through a gate onto the airfield.
The incident happened at 9 p.m. The person drove through an airfield gate, according to airport officials.
“To maintain the highest level of safety and security, operations were temporarily put on hold,” a statement from the city said.
According to published reports, the driver of the SUV abandoned his vehicle on the airfield after damaging runway lighting.
Cleveland police arrested a suspect.
The airport was closed for about 30 minutes. Several flights coming into Cleveland were diverted to other airports, including Pittsburgh.
Operations at the airport returned to normal late Wednesday night.
cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer reached out to Cleveland police Thursday morning to ask if charges have been filed against the suspect.
This is not the first time a driver has breached the airport perimeter. In February 2019 and again in July 2020, there were incidents at the airport involving drivers crashing through fencing.
The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year. Cleveland Hopkins expects approximately 260,000 passengers to travel through the airport during the 10-day Thanksgiving period, with Nov. 23 and Nov. 27 having the most volume.