Report Details Airport Perimeter Security Breaches
PHOTO: San Francisco International Airport saw the highest number of perimeter security breaches in a recent AP report, with 37 over the last 10 years. (Courtesy of Thinkstock)
A shocking new report from the Associated Press is casting yet another unwanted spotlight on airport security.
But this time the focus is on the outside of the airport.
The investigation details 268 security breaches on the perimeter of the nation’s 31 largest airports since 2004, an alarming number that includes a variety of different instances.
According to the AP, a mentally ill man scaled the fence outside the Los Angeles International Airport eight times in one year, including twice reaching stairs that led to aircraft.
San Francisco International had the most perimeter security breaches with 37 in the last 10 years, followed by Philadelphia International with 25 and LAX with 24.
"It doesn't surprise me that we're in the top three given that we're the second-busiest airport in the United States, but that's disturbing to see," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on his weekly radio show. "All it takes is one person who can get through and do something."
Garcetti’s office told the AP that the airport will begin testing an electronic perimeter intrusion detection system at a cost of $1.5 million within the next year or so.
The Associated Press also noted of the 31 airports it surveyed, two didn't have data for all years, meaning the 268 incidents is likely on the low side. Surprisingly, none of the incidents involved a terrorist plot.
"The goal is always zero" breaches, Doug Yakel, spokesman at San Francisco International Airport, said at a news conference called in response to the AP's findings. He said SFO has added more patrols, better lighting and the installation of cameras that can detect body heat at night.
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