NBCPhiladelphia.com - Harry Hairston
Police say, Thursday's airport security breach was the second one to happen in weeks. Intoxicated driver Kenneth Mazik, plowed through a gate and onto the runway Thursday morning. This happened just weeks after a vehicle breached the same gate on Feb. 5th. According to airport officials, the perimeter fencing meets or exceeds all federally mandated standards. NBC10's Harry Hairston reports the details.
Philadelphia police say they're looking for ways to make the city's airport more secure a day after an SUV crashed through a fence and sped onto the runway. It marks the second breach in security in a little over a month.
Police say 24-year-old Kenneth Mazik was under the influence when he plowed his way through this gate on to the runway forcing pilots of a commercial airliner with passengers on board to divert their landing at the last minute.
On Friday, U.S. Congressman, Pat Meehan, who chairs the homeland sub-committee on terrorism examined several airport gates and says the incident is extremely disturbing to him.
“If a drunk can do this just think what a determined terrorist could do,” Meehan said. “We could be talking about the victim’s families.”
NBC 10's Harry Hairston found that Thursday’s incident comes just weeks after a vehicle breached another gate February 5th.
Police say a couple drove around the gate and on to the tarmac undetected by two guards, one of them a Philadelphia police officer.
Police say the couple accidentally drove through the gate and were escorted from the field without arrest. Sources tell NBC 10 the security guards were asleep at the post.
Police officials say they're not sure about that, but acknowledge the officer failed do to his job and for that they're recommending he is firmly discipline.
“That’s unacceptable,” Meehan said.
The Justice Department has charged Mazik with disrupting services at an airport and endangering safety.
Airport officials said Friday that perimeter fencing “meets or exceeds all federally mandated standards” and “our airfield is secure.”
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