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Aviation experts question security, passenger safety after woman left on plane

Last Updated Jun 24, 2019 at 6:16 pm EDT

The tail of the newly revealed Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft is seen at a hangar at the Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, February 9, 2017. Aviation experts are raising security and passenger safety concerns after a woman was left sleeping on a taxied Air Canada flight with the lights turned off and crew gone. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Aviation experts are raising security and passenger safety concerns after a woman was left sleeping on a parked Air Canada aircraft with the lights turned off and crew gone.

A friend recounted Tiffani Adams’s ordeal in a Facebook post, saying she fell asleep during a roughly 90-minute flight from Quebec City to Toronto and woke up a few hours after landing on an empty, dark plane.

Adams eventually unbolted a door and was rescued by a baggage cart operator.

Ross Aimer, CEO of Aero Consulting Experts and a former airline captain, says he’s never heard of such an incident in his roughly four decades of aviation service, and that multiple errors would have to be made to overlook a passenger during disembarking.

He says while a cleaning, catering or flight crew would have discovered Adams in the morning had she not been so proactive, it’s possible someone with malicious intent could hide on a plane in this manner and attempt to hijack it.

The airline has confirmed the incident happened but did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

Simon Rivet with Transport Canada told CityNews on Monday they are aware of the incident and are in communication with Air Canada.

“[We] will take any corrective action necessary to ensure that travelling Canadians are safe at all times while onboard Canadian aircraft,” he said.

He added that federal regulations state it is the airline’s responsibility to ensure passenger safety.

“In accordance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations, it is the air operator’s responsibility to establish procedures to ensure that passengers move to and from the aircraft and embark and disembark safely,” he said.