Just days after a jet skier was able to not only wander onto airport grounds by scaling a fence, crossing two runways, jetways, and entering Terminal 3 without setting off or alerting security officials courtesy of a $100 million security system, word comes that a gate close to the airport's fuel tank farm was unsecured and no cameras were positioned to allow security to view the location. However, there are questions as to whether the gate was unsecured or not. There are no questions, however, that there are no cameras in that area:
Gate 112 is a key location in the troubled $100 million Perimeter Intrusion Detection System, because it provides an entryway to the Buckeye pipeline, which carries 8.4 million gallons of fuel daily through the city to the airport.The gate was close to where the Buckeye gas pipeline enters the airport. If that name sounds familiar, it should.
It was the target of terrorists who were busted in 2007 for plotting to blow it up.
The gate is also near an active runway, 22 Left.
PA officials — including Executive Director Patrick Foye — last night scrambled to explain the situation in a conference call.
The memo is “a lie,” Foye said, although he could not explain how it was inaccurate.
Paul Nunziato, president of the PAPD union, was brought onto the call and immediately declared the memo “is not a lie.”
The Port Authority then had Officer DeFelice call The Post, and, with a union rep on the line, said the fence has two heavy chains and that one of them was unlocked.
He claimed he called in an “unsecure” chain, and could not explain why the memo said the gate was unsecure.
He said the unlocked chain was not a security risk, but could not explain why there were two chains on the gate.
DeFelice and the union rep agreed that the lack of camera coverage on the gate was a security lapse.
The PA denied a request to immediately view the fence.
The lapse comes less than a week after the $100 million Perimeter Intrusion Detection System was embarrassingly breached by a stranded jet-skier, who climbed over an 8-foot section of the fence and walked across two runways without being noticed, despite his wearing a bright-yellow life vest.
The pipeline was targeted by terrorists in the 2007 JFK terror plot to blow up the pipeline and tank farm causing catastrophic damage to the airport and its surrounding communities. Those involved in that plot have been sentenced to prison.
It's absolutely reprehensible that no one bothered to check that the security fence was properly secured or that cameras were positioned to make sure that no one could access this sensitive location.
This once again highlights the security theater that has gone into dealing with threats against infrastructure. $100 million was spent on upgrading security at JFK airport alone, and yet it seems that there are enough holes that anyone determined to cause harm and mayhem could still achieve their goals.
Labels: air safety, infrastructure, JFK airport, JFK terror plot, PANY-NJ