Christchurch Airport was evacuated when security personnel found a bomb hidden in what they thought was a passenger’s luggage.
Airport staff and passengers exited the terminal building around 8.15am on Thursday.
A spokesman for aviation security said crews found a “homemade explosive device” hidden in a bag during the screening.
The airport was evacuated and police were immediately alerted.
Security personnel were using sniffer dogs to “comb” at the airport.
He said further comment would be required from the police.
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A police spokesman said police were investigating.