KTVU – Calls for added security at airport perimeters following stowaway incident

By Tom Vacar

Posted on KTVU.com. See the original story here.

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. —

People across the country were stunned by how easy it was for a teenager to hop the fence at Mineta San Jose International Airport and climb into the wheel well of an airplane headed to Hawaii.

Now, there are new calls for more technology to beef up the weakest link in airport security – airport perimeters.

Dublin Congressman Eric Swalwell, a member of the Homeland Security Committee, invited high tech companies to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office on Friday to show how they can make airports more secure nationwide.

“There are no requirements today that airport officials be alerted when a perimeter is breached,” said Rep. Swalwell, Democrat of Dublin.

With the latest incident at San Jose International Airport, the government finds itself playing catch-up again. “In just the last five years, six major airport security breaches, some are better known that others,” said Rep. Swalwell.

The companies in attendance Friday say their technology works, and some is already in use at some small airports.

SpotterRF makes a motion detection system, widely used to protect other critical infrastructure. “Electrical power plants, substations, bridges and dams as well as oil and gas petrochemical plants and things of that nature,” said Logan Harris, SpotterRF’s CEO.

SensorFence analyzes sound waves coming from fences, much in the same way a spider senses prey in its web. With the system, whether you’re trying to get in or you’re trying to get out, the minute you try to scale the fence – security already knows.

San Jose Airport leaders say they are all for the technology, but they need money for it. “I do believe that the American people would make us this investment now, than after a catastrophe,” said Rep. Swalwell.

Two weeks before the teen stowaway incident, the San Jose Airport passed its TSA security inspection.

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