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Last Updated: Monday, 3 May, 2004, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Man in court after airport alert
Birmingham International Airport
The airport has now reopened
A 25-year-old Portuguese man has denied causing a public nuisance after a security alert closed Birmingham International Airport.

More than 1,000 travellers were affected after a suspect package was discovered at 0900 BST on Sunday.

Passengers were kept on planes and terminals were evacuated. Flights due in to the airport were diverted.

Jose Da Silva appeared before Solihull magistrates on Monday and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

'Safety first'

Stephen Parker, defending Mr Da Silva, said he had come forward as the owner of the bag and that it was not a "deliberate act" to cause this disruption.

The case was adjourned until Tuesday and Mr Da Silva remanded in custody.

An Army team was called in on Sunday and carried out a controlled explosion on the package and the airport reopened at about 1200 BST.

The package was later found to be harmless.

Mr Da Silva was arrested when he returned to the airport to collect his bag at 1220 BST.

A police spokesman said: "We realise this has caused inconvenience for passengers but safety comes first.

"There was no specific threat to the West Midlands but we would ask if people remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to us."

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