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I-Team Investigation: Parking At Philadelphia Airport Terminal

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Philadelphia International Airport

PHILADELPHIA (CBS3) – After September 11th, airport security became a top priority. And the averted Times Square car bomb shows how terrorists aren’t just using planes to try and attack us.

That is why the law is clear.

For security reasons, besides loading and unloading, parking directly in front of a Philadelphia airport terminal is illegal, but you wouldn’t know it based on what we found.

We found a pick up truck. It was parked right in front of Terminal A.

Our reporter Jim Osman follows the driver to see where he goes.

The driver heads inside apparently looking for passengers and he comes back out and heads right back into the terminal to take another look.

The man’s truck is parked — unattended — for more than 20 minutes before a police officer finally asks him to move.

“It’s a situation just waiting for a catastrophe,” said Eyewitness News viewer Walter Czepiga, who tipped off the I-Team.

The man and his wife noticed the problem after flying into Philadelphia from Tucson.

In our exhaustive investigation, we spotted vehicle after vehicle parked directly in front of terminals for extended periods of time.

Most of the drivers did it without ever having anyone shoo them away.

Another example? A second pick up.

The driver parks it right in front of the terminal. Our reporter Jim Osman followed him inside as the driver checked the arrivals board and baggage claim.

The driver comes back out to his truck briefly, but then once again he’s back roaming the terminal.

For most of the time, his truck is parked unattended. He leaves with two passengers 45 minutes later.

The man was never asked to move and there was not an officer in sight.

“It does concern me that people can sit there for that long a period of time”, said New Jersey Congressman Rob Andrews who is a member of the Homeland Security Committee.

Andrew reviewed videotape of what we uncovered.

Enforcement is the responsibility of the Philadelphia Police Department.

An I-Team producer approached one officer at the airport about parking laws and regulations. The officer said the law is being enforced.

But Police Chief Inspector for Homeland Security Joe Sullivan says, based on what we discovered, more can be done.

“We do appreciate you bringing this to our attention.” the Chief Inspector said.

He promised action would be taken to tighten security.

The Chief Inspector says the Police Department wrote 6,000 parking related violations in the last year.

He says the airport is appropriately staffed with enough officers.

We checked, since the police became aware our investigation, and we did see increased police presence outside the airport terminals.

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