Port Hedland International Airport staff are “sick to death” of dealing with drunk and abusive passengers threatening workers and “terrifying” fellow travellers. General manager Rod Evans, who has worked in airports across Australia for more than 30 years, said his staff would no longer stand for “abusive” substance-induced behaviour. The issue came to a head last Tuesday when a drunk man, who boarded a midday flight, verbally threatened airport staff and yelled obscenities in the lounge. The man was denied boarding after police were called to de-escalate the incident. Mr Evans said it was not an isolated event at the airport, which attracted more than 400,000 passengers a year. He said regional economies driven by mining, oil and gas produced the most obscene and abusive actions at airports. Mr Evans recalled how several years ago emergency services were called to resuscitate a road-train driver “passed out” at a security checkpoint because of a heroin overdose. “About two to three times each week people would be denied boarding, denied alcohol, told to tone things down and police are called,” he said. “The check-in staff, the security staff and I deal with this daily ... we have had enough and we are not putting up with it any more. “I don’t know about you ... but I don’t want to be at 30,000ft with some of the numbnuts that are getting on these flights.” Flight captains are the only people with the authority to refuse boarding to passengers deemed at risk. Port Hedland police officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Steve Cleal said officers, who were often called to incidents at the terminal, were “drained” dealing with the problem. “The issue hasn’t increased but it is ongoing and we have had enough,” he said.