Hawaiian Airline stowaway: Eric Swalwell wants airport perimeter security check
A Bay Area congressman wants an updated assessment of the nation's airport perimeter security needs following a Santa Clara teen's stowaway voyage in the wheel well of a jetliner taking off from Mineta San Jose International Airport. The 15-year-old jumped a fence to get into the airport Sunday, and miraculously survived a five-and-a-half hour flight to Hawaii despite freezing temperatures and low oxygen levels.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, the only California congressman on the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, notes there have been several such breaches since the Government Accountability Office last evaluated airport perimeter security in 2009. Several Democrats on the committee requested an update in February, and Swalwell wrote to the agency Tuesday to bolster that request.
"While we have made significant progress in airport security since 9/11, this latest incident near my congressional district in the Bay Area raises serious concerns affecting passenger safety," Swalwell, D-Dublin, said in a news release. "I join my colleagues on the Homeland Security Committee to call for an updated assessment of airport perimeter security so we can identify vulnerabilities, protect our perimeters, and prevent future breaches."
Read the full text of Swalwell's letter to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, here.