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Airport Security Around the Outside

The hustle and bustle of the airport scene, delayed flights, Starbucks, crowded airplanes, small seats with no leg room…and finally, the sigh of relief as the plane lands, people stand and stretch, ready to explore the new territory around them. Yep, sounds like summer travel to me, except things such as these seem petty when thinking about airport perimeter security.

According to Airline Pilots Security Alliance, an average airport perimeter at a medium-sized, U.S. airport is 15 miles long, typically protected by a fence, security cameras, possibly other security devices and occasional security patrols by airport police officers. But, is this adequate enough to keep the “bad guys” out?


La Guardia Airport, New York – (after 9/11 security measures established and executed) a group of lost boaters entered the secure area of this airport, trying to find help. These people actually wandered La Guardia’s “secure” grounds for hours near runways and taxiways before finding a guard shack.

Vendor trucks – routinely admitted through airport perimeters with only a cursory inspection.

Al Qaeda operative – legitimately employed as vendor truck driver; admitted he scoped security weaknesses and strategies used at all airports he serviced.

John F. Kennedy International Airport – a stranded, soaking wet jet-skier, clad in a florescent yellow life jacket scaled this airport’s 8 foot perimeter fence, walked across the tarmac and into the Delta terminal.

Brian Hedglin – pilot and murder suspect; used a rug to scale a small Utah airport’s perimeter security fence, topped with razor wire, slipped past security, boarded an idle, passenger-free SkyWest Airline’s jet, which he eventually crashed in a parking lot.

Okay, I think you get the idea. And, while these are isolated incidents, when I Googled “airport perimeter security breaches 2013,” in less than 50 seconds 1,190,000 results were revealed. Scary, huh?

So, what are your thoughts? What is the answer to airport perimeter security to ensure that no U.S. airport is breached again?

Posted by Ginger Hill

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