CORRECTED: Security Procedures Tightened At SeaTac Airport
UPDATE: Yesterday we received an email from Perry Cooper, the Media Officer for SeaTac Airport.
In it he offers the following corrections on the story:
The errors in the current story refer to the first paragraph which states a van was able to get on the runway, that is far from correct. The area in question is the general aviation area on the far west side of the airport directly opposite the main terminal. For most people this is considered the private/charter area.
The situation was the gentleman was allowed inside the security gate in order to pick up a VIP, in this case a military General. As mentioned, all procedures were followed and he was allowed inside the gate to await the arrival of the VIP. His concern was, from where he was, he could step on the gas and get to the runway, which is about 3/4′s of a mile away.
Secondly, in the third paragraph it says “he was waved onto a runway on the terminal’s south side.” Again, incorrect. The location I mentioned above. Vehicles when allowed through the gates, is not ‘waved on to the runway’ rather they are allowed to drive into the secure area to pick up VIPs. That’s about 20 yards inside the gate, no where near the runway.
Additionally, in this case, the gentleman was picking up a military VIP and military aircraft do not give out their flight times in advance, thus, he was waiting longer than normal. Normally, such pickup vehicles are only allowed inside the gate 10 minutes before the arrival of the aircraft.
Now the new rules will ask anyone requesting to pick up a VIP inside the secure area must request an escort from Airport Security or get out of their vehicle, go through the general aviation offices and be escorted by walking on the tarmac to the charter aircraft.
Finally, this is an addition to federal regulations which apply to all general aviation airports in the country. Sea-Tac has now added an additional procedure in addition to the federal regulations.
AS PREVIOUSLY (and apparently erroneously) REPORTED:
SEATAC – After an incident we reported on earlier where a man was able to drive his van onto the tarmac without being searched or checked, security procedures at SeaTac Airport have been tightened.
The incident happened several days ago in an area reserved for corporate jets. At that time, there were no local or federal requirements to check IDs or screen vehicles at the entrance to the corporate terminal.
Chris Clodfelter said he was waved onto a runway on the terminal’s south side without question, and said he could’ve gotten away with anything.
“There was no security,” he said. “And we’re in a running vehicle on an apron at Seattle International Airport and could be out on the active runway in less than 60 seconds.”
After the incident, security officials took a look at their procedures, said Sea-Tac spokeswoman Terri Anne Betancourt.
On Monday officials changed policies, and they no longer allow any vehicles on the tarmac, Betancourt said. Passengers now have their ID checked at the corporate gate and have to park their vehicle outside, then walk in.
Even before the procedures were tightened, airport officials said Clodfelter was watched the entire time he was on the runway.
There also said there has never been a security lapse in this part of the terminal, officials said.