Hundreds of passengers and staff evacuated from Cairns Airport in 'security breach'
Passengers at Cairns Airport have praised the "calm and professional" performance of staff and airline crew after a security breach forced the mass evacuation of the domestic terminal.
Flights have been delayed and every passenger, pilot and crew have been sent outside to be re-screened in the incident.
It is believed a female passenger entered a restricted area to retrieve an item she apparently left behind " in the terminal.
Virgin Airlines passenger Darren Tonkin, the founder of Storyboard Social, said the announcement about a security breach was made just before 1pm.
"Our plane was boarding and almost ready for take off when the announcement was made," Mr Tonkin said.
"Everyone had to evacuate, the pilots, the cabin crew, airport staff, everyone. The Virgin cabin crew were really calm and helpful, and the airport staff were really professional and helpful as well.
"It was a very big exercise, they're holding the planes for everyone so we don't have to rush or panic."