23 Mar 2009

Deadly bikie warfare moves to Sydney Airport

2:28 pm on 23 March 2009

Sydney's bikie warfare has exploded with a violent brawl between two gangs at Sydney Airport's domestic Qantas terminal resulting in one man being bludgeoned to death in front of horrified passengers.

Minutes after a group of men disembarked from a flight that landed about 1.30pm local time on Sunday, another group confronted them in the arrivals section of the domestic terminal.

Witnesses told police an altercation began, and continued as the groups made their way upstairs to the departures area.

One of the men picked up a portable bollard and repeatedly struck a 29-year-old man over the head. He later died of his injuries.

Detective Inspector Peter Williams said the brawl involved 15 men from rival bikie gangs and was witnessed by up to 50 horrified passengers.

Four men were arrested over the incident, while the others fled the airport - some in taxis, witnesses reported.

The attack happened the same day a drive-by shooting in Sydney's west sent two men to hospital with police investigating if warfare between outlaw motorcycle gangs was to blame.

The brawl raised questions about the level of security at the Qantas terminal and the reaction time of security officers.

An unnamed passenger told Australia's Nine Network that response from airport security "took a long time to get there".

A Sydney Airport Corporation spokesman said: "That terminal is operated and managed by Qantas."

A Qantas spokeswoman would not confirm whether the fight began in the departure lounge or outside the security screening area.

She was also unable to confirm whether security guards were working within the terminal at the time.