Mystery substance at Sydney Airport revealed as washing powder

written by Adam Thorn | June 16, 2020
A file image of Sydney Airport. (Seth JaworskI)
Sydney Airport photo courtesy of Seth JaworskI

A mystery golf-ball-sized package discovered at Sydney Airport on Monday has been revealed as washing powder.

The false alarm comes despite the Qantas domestic terminal being isolated for more than an hour on Monday.

In July last year, a similar incident occurred when a ‘white substance’ was found in a Qantas cargo hold.


Police and fire crew were scrambled with passengers on a plane to Brisbane evacuated before it was also revealed to be laundry detergent.

Monday’s incident caused less chaos largely due to the airport being quieter.

Last month, Australian Aviation reported that just 92,000 passengers passed through Sydney Airport in April – down from 3.7 million in the same month last year.

Figures released to the ASX revealed that just 43,000 international, and 49,000 domestic, passengers travelled through Sydney’s terminals in April.


The airport previously handled 2 million in March, 3 million in February and 4 million in January.

The downturn is likely to not last much longer, with both Qantas and Virgin announcing a significant increase in flights from July.

The Virgin Group is set to add 30,000 seats across 320 flights while its rival has announced it would add 300 more return flights per week, with potential to up capacity to 40 per cent in July.

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