A TEENAGER from the region conned aviation bosses into believing he was a tycoon with plans to set up his own airline, it emerged today.

The 17-year-old, from York, will not be prosecuted after reportedly bluffing his way through meetings, creating fictitious fellow airline executives and setting-up fake websites to support his story.

The hoax was uncovered by industry magazine Airliner World and freelance journalist Martin Foley.

Similarities have been drawn with the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr, who convinced the airline Pan Am he was a pilot.

His exploits featured in the 2003 Leonardo DiCaprio film, Catch Me if You Can.

The teenager, said to be autistic and with a huge knowledge of the air industry, used a fake name.

His scam ended last week at Southend Airport, in Essex, where he had apparently set-up a meeting with an aircraft leasing firm.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "As a result of information received, police and security staff refused a man access to the air-side section of the airport.

"No offences were committed and Essex Police is taking no further action."

Airliner World first became aware of the teenager when he contacted the magazine with plans to establish an airline in the Channel Islands.

Staff spoke to contacts, who had heard rumours about a new player in the area.

The magazine's deputy editor, Richard Maslen, said "serious concerns" about the story were raised by editorial staff.

He said: "After an initial investigation, we asked one of our freelance journalists, Martin Foley, to investigate on our behalf.

"Martin and I worked closely to unravel this mysterious story and were able to disprove many of the claims that the company was making.

"The magazine tipped-off the police, who intervened at the airport."

Claims about start-ups are frequently made in the air industry, Mr Maslen said.

He said that, while airports tried to avoid time-wasters, they did not want to miss an opportunity.

He said: "You can imagine what Luton Airport first thought when Stelios Haji-Ioannou first approached them and said he was going to launch easyJet - an airline that painted its aircraft orange, had its telephone booking number in enormous letters its aircraft, with fares cheaper than a pair of jeans."