Texas airports see respite from perimeter security intruders

A year-long investigation uncovered a number of security breaches of fences protecting nation's major airports, including the DFW airport.

Intruders got over the fencing that protects Texas' two busiest airports more than authorities disclosed, though there were no breaches last year.

An Associated Press investigation shows 16 breaches of perimeter security at Dallas-Fort Worth International or George Bush Intercontinental since 2004.

The airports acknowledged 13 incidents when AP revealed problems with airport defenses last year.

Federal records showed three more breaches than DFW told AP about. Among them: A 2012 case in which a man squeezed through a perimeter gate and was stopped near a runway.

The airport did not explain the discrepancy.

"I would propose looking at additional fences within that fence cause that would kind of create a DMZ for lack of a better word," said retired ATF agent Hector Tarango. "People were being detected either by patrols or cameras but at times they were missed. So if they are missed over that first fence, maybe they'll get caught by that second fence."

Airports say their perimeters are strong and note no breach involved a known terrorist plot. Nationally, breaches are happening about every 10 days at one of the 31 major airports AP studied.

Some airports would not honor the AP’s open records request and did not provide the information, so the number of breaches could be higher.