Bizarre episode triggers security investigation
POSTED: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 2:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 2:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — A jet-skier who became stranded in New York's Jamaica Bay easily breached JFK International Airport's security system by walking undetected through two runways and into a terminal.
Daniel Castillo of Queens swam to shore and then walked past motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras of the airport's state-of--the art Perimeter Intrusion Detection System.
The $100 million system is meant to safeguard against terrorists.
Castillo climbed an eight-foot-tall perimeter fence and made his way to Terminal 3, according to The New York Post.
He approached a Delta Airlines worker, who alerted authorities, the paper said.
The breach raised a host of troubling questions about safety.
"If it had been a coordinated Al Qaeda operation I wouldn't even want to think how bad this could've been," said Rep. Peter King, the Long Island Republican who chairs of the House Homeland Security Committee. " Raytheon is the contractor. Raytheon is trying to determine what went wrong, what didn't work, but it appears that nothing worked."
Raytheon did not yet return calls for comment.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is investigating.
The agency says it has increased patrols on the ground and in the water and plans to meet with the security system's maker this week.
"We have called for an expedited review of the incident and a complete investigation to determine how Raytheon's perimeter intrusion detection system-which exceeds federal requirements-could be improved," the Port Authority said in a statement. "Our goal is to keep the region's airports safe and secure at all times."
Castillo was charged with criminal trespass.
Information on an attorney wasn't available.
The JFK security breach could also mean that other area airports are vulnerable.
"This has to be corrected. Has to be corrected quickly," Kind said. "Laguardia and Teeterborough have the exact same system."