- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - There have been six breaches of perimeter security fences at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in the last decade, according to an Associated Press investigation.

Nationally, there have been at least 268 perimeter security breaches at 31 major U.S. airports between January 2004 and January 2015, AP found.

Incidents ranged from fence jumpers taking shortcuts and intoxicated drivers crashing through barriers to mentally ill intruders looking to hop flights. None was terrorism related.

Airports say breaches are relatively rare. Security measures typically include fences, cameras and patrols, but there are gaps. Not all of the miles of fences are routinely patrolled or covered by video surveillance.

The highest profile security breach at Charlotte’s airport, the nation’s sixth busiest, involved 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale. In 2010, the high school student climbed into the wheel well of a US Airways jet. He fell when the landing gear opened on approach and his body was found in a Boston suburb.

Authorities never formally concluded how he reached the tarmac, but the former head of the Transportation Security Administration, John Pistole, told AP that investigators believe he got over a perimeter fence, possibly using a tree branch that grew over the airport’s secure side.

Tisdale’s death prompted a city review of airport security that led to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police taking command instead of airport authorities.

Other incidents in Charlotte included:

- In 2013, a driver lost control of his vehicle, which crashed through a security fence.

- In 2012, a 24-year-old man climbed over a security fence. Airline employees found him.

- In 2011, thieves cut a gate chain and stole power tools as well as 35 gallons of diesel fuel. A hole also was cut in the fence. No one was caught.

- In 2011, a Piedmont Airlines employee clocked in, then returned to a parking lot to get his security badge. He went over a security fence to go back to work.

- In 2004, authorities received a report that two people jumped a fence into a restricted area, then jumped back out. They were seen running outside the fence.



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