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Airport Security Breaches Suggest Need for Heightened Security

Guardian Booth Provides High-Visibility Security Guard Booth Options

You might think that with all the highly visible airport security measures in place, security breaches at U.S. airports are relatively rare. Surprisingly, they are not. Along with scads of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel and other law enforcement, most of the nation’s 440 commercial airports are surrounded by security fencing, often at least eight-feet tall and topped with razor wire, with active security measures to patrol and monitor the perimeters of airports. Nevertheless, you might be surprised to learn that a recent investigation determined that perimeters of the country’s 31 largest airports are breached at a rate of about once every 9.5 days. 

In response to 2015 reporting on the Associated Press’s (AP) ongoing investigation of airport perimeter security since 2004, TSA insisted that 345 of the security breaches identified by the AP should not have been counted as actual breaches. However, the AP released a follow-up story asking why TSA did not consider it a breach when a woman passed through a vehicle exit gate at San Francisco International Airport, and then ran onto the tarmac in an effort to flag down a jetliner for a ride to Guatemala. 

TSA did not respond to that query or other samples provided by AP, and has since started to withhold information relating to security incidents. Airport administrators, who are actually responsible for perimeter security, and required to report all breaches to TSA, have become equally reticent with regard to the release of security information.

Government Oversight Agency Also Takes Issue With Airport Security

The AP’s reporting was further supported by the 2016 release of a U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) report—”Aviation Security: Airport Perimeter and Access Control Security Would Benefit from Risk Assessment and Strategy Updates“—which concluded that U.S. airport perimeters experienced between 2,200 and 2,800 security incidents per year from 2008 to 2015. This report, it should be noted, was perimeter specific and did not include security incidents within the terminals. 

Both the AP reporting and GAO suggest that not all breaches are nefarious, and that a fair number tend to be cases of trespassing by intoxicated, disoriented, or otherwise mentally impaired people. Or, As TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger put it, “people sometimes try to jump over fences to see what they can get away with.” 

“people sometimes try to jump over fences to see what they can get away with.”
TSA Administrator
Peter Neffenger

Still, such trespassers seriously disrupt flight operations, and can be a danger, both to themselves and to those on aircraft on the tarmac. Additionally, some security breaches are conceived with ill intent, as evidence by intruders found with knives or guns, and by those who have assaulted airport personnel, tried to board flights, steal aircraft, and steal vehicles on the tarmac.

Administrators Ramping Up Security Around Airport Perimeters

 The AP reporting, GAO report and scrutiny from Congress have all served to inspire TSA and airport administrators to review and enhance airport perimeter security. While the AP reports that TSA and airport administrators are withholding information about what new security measures are being taken to enhance perimeter airport security fencing development, those airport officials who have admitted to ramping up security report that the number of breaches at their airports have declined. 

Among airports that have reported reduced security breaches due to enhanced security measures are international airports in San Francisco, Miami and Las Vegas, all of which had been specifically identified by AP for numerous perimeter breaches. Administrators at these airports have not disclosed how much was spent nor what security enhancements were initiated, but we here at Guardian Booth would suggest that security at airports can definitely be improved with the installation of our airport guard booths.

Airport Security Booths Can Help Control Perimeter Access

Airport security booths as offered by Guardian Booth provide a multi-purpose means of boosting airport security measures. The weatherproof booths provide 360 degrees of security observation for monitoring activity outside of airport buildings and along the airport’s perimeter. The security booths can help control access through the numerous service entrance ways along airport fence lines and provide a level of high-visibility deterrence to those who might otherwise consider unauthorized access to airport grounds, whether as a lark or for some form of criminal activity.

To learn more about how Guardian Booth’s high-quality prefabricated security booths can help enhance the security of your airport’s perimeter, please click here. Details about the many customized features that can be added to our airport security booths can be found on our “Add-on Features” page.

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