Christchurch Airport evacuated after 'item of interest' found by police

Two people are being spoken to after police and aviation security cleared the first floor of the Christchurch airport building on Thursday morning following the discovery of an "item of interest".

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Passengers ready to travel under Alert Level 2 were made to evacuate when an “item of interest” was found in the building. Source: 1 NEWS

The Aviation Security Service told 1News an Avsec officer identified what appeared to be an "Improvised Explosive Device (IED)" at one of the security screening points at Christchurch airport.

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An aviation security officer identified what was thought to be an improvised explosive device at a screening point. Source: 1 NEWS

Avsec incident protocols were quickly activated and the area isolated before police were called in.

A police spokesperson has since told 1News it was not a bomb threat.

Christchurch Airport was evacuated by police after an unknown device was discovered. Source: 1 NEWS

"An item of interest has been located at Christchurch Airport," the spokesperson said.

"Police were made aware around 8am. The domestic terminal is in the process of being evacuated as a precaution."

The spokesperson added the item was located in a bag at the screening checkpoint and that they are now making inquiries and speaking with two people in relation to the incident.

The New Zealand Defence Force's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit was also notified and attended as a precaution.

Christchurch Airport said the "incident" is now "over" and that the terminal has been re-opened but several flights have been affected and several hundred passengers impacted.

Police have increased their presence at the airport for the rest of the day.