Exclusive: TSA Investigation Underway After Driver Accidentally Enters Taxiway At Philadelphia International Airport

By Todd Quinones

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There is now an investigation underway after sources indicate a security breakdown led to an ordinary driver making his way onto a main taxiway, which is right near a runway.

It’s supposed to be a secure perimeter around Philadelphia International Airport.

You might think only a skilled individual could get access to a taxiway planes use, but you would be wrong.

According to sources, a driver who was lost near the airport managed to drive right through a checkpoint, past a Philadelphia police officer in a patrol car, as well as two department of aviation employees.

The driver, along with a passenger, sources say, drove hundreds of yards down Taxiway J, at one point they even got out of the car completely undetected. It was about 5 minutes before they were even spotted.

“It’s a frightening prospect no doubt about it.” said John Gagliano, a licensed pilot and an aviation attorney, who also flew combat missions for the navy in Afghanistan.

It was about 3:45 a.m. Sunday morning when the driver headed down what’s known the taxiway.

Gagliano showed Eyewitness News the significance of that specific taxiway and why he contends the mishap demonstrates a dangerous breakdown in security.

“It’s a long taxiway that not only gets you close to all the terminals, but also pretty close to [one] runway. It puts lives in danger. It’s someone who is not communicating with any of the pilots,” Gagliano said.

Sources indicate the Philadelphia police officer who didn’t stop the driver will face disciplinary action, and that the gate near cargo city, has since been reconfigured.

The driver and the passenger, Eyewitness News is told were eventually cleared and not charged with any crime. As it appears, the driver was just confused and got lost.

A spokesperson at the airport had no comment citing an ongoing investigation which now involves the TSA.

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One Comment

  1. Dennis says:

    Lot’s of comment to which everyone agrees more of less that it was STUPID!

    The reporting is confused too. The driver was confused, but HOW did the passenger get confused, by riding with a moron? Since when does he/she share in the blame… Now, since the warning signs are very clear, is the driver that can only read Pakistani? How did he get a license to drive a vehicle for hire? TSA ~~~ Tit’s & Ass I be grabbing OH! And fire the policeman and put road devices that impale the driver.

  2. Knutts says:

    Could this have been intentional?
    Most likely, since the person name wasn’t mention and the person was released without being tortored by the cops.
    Are you upset about this now? They hope so, so they can put more TSA at the airport so you fools will feel safer.

    1. Enishia says:

      Possibly but I really doubt it. Have you ever seen airport designs. I’ve nearly done it at DWT(Detroit metro wayne) because there’s access roads that lead off major roadways right on to the runways. I don’t live in the US, I don’t live in Michigan, but I fly out of DWT because it’s cheaper than me flying out of Toronto. So the first time I went down the place was confusing as all hell. It’s stupidly easy to do,especially when the airport maintenance entrances are basically unmarked. With no warning postings.

    2. Jack Meihoff says:

      The TSA can grab my balls at the airport but they can’t stop a car from driving on to the runway ?

  3. Bartholomew JoJo Simpson says:

    for you tsa lovers! great video!

  4. Ryan says:

    TSA is there for intimidation, not protection.

    1. Grandma Susan says:

      you forgot the other t idiot.


      1. Tag says:

        that’s no way to reply to a grandson

  5. John says:

    The TSA is a joke, ordinary lost citizens can get through checkpoints yet people in America ‘feel safe’ that these clowns could actually stop a determined terrorist.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if this joke didn’t cost so many millions in a year…

  6. Obeserver On The Hill says:

    It;s because they were too busy strip searching 80 year old grandmothers for our protection – what a farce these people are and a hug waste of my tax dollars.

  7. Robert g says:

    Just a couple of old people looking for country kitchen buffet.

  8. I P Standing says:

    TSA was too busy waving muslums past and putting their hands in babys diapers

  9. TSA I Am says:

    He only made it through because he drank his whiskey bottle down to less than 3 ounces and got a pass by securtiy.

    1. Its all going down says:


      1. Johan says:

        How many hijackings have we had since the inception of TSA.

  10. Patrick Danielson says:

    Oh my… such an incredible breech. I wonder if they shot that terrorist driver. It is so irresponsible being lost. There is one thing about that airport though that kind of irritates me. All of the TSA are Muslims. How ironic, the same people who do terrorist acts are hired to search you. To be honest, I hope that whole city gets sucked into a black hole.

    1. DontTread says:

      So every Muslim is a terrorist. Is every German a Nazi? Furthermore, is every dark skinned middle-eastern or SE Asian a Muslim? Your ignorance is what is destroying this country.

  11. Solid Citizen says:

    It looks like the City of Philly is hiring:
    This is administrative engineering work with responsibility for strategic planning and the development of an overall security system infrastructure for the Philadelphia International Airport and Northeast Philadelphia Airport. The employee in the class directs, through subordinate supervisory staff or external contracts, all security-related airport engineering projects. This position coordinates with senior members of the Department of Homeland Security, senior airline representatives, and airport staff to develop an organizational framework and meet the needs of multiple constituents as well as comply with federal regulations. Work is performed under the direction of the Airport Deputy Director of Aviation, Operations and Facilities.


    I wonder what political hack they’ll dredge up for this position.

    Quo warranto, B.O.?

  12. Tim Bridgeman says:

    A driver gets lost and this is news? And at 3:45 AM? Everyone’s asleep then, don’t you people know about biorhythms? Anyone who has a 3rd shift job falls asleep at it eventually. Because the people who are supposed to check that no one is sleeping are asleep too. Case in point: why didn’t CBS News have a cameraman showing live footage on CBS in Philly? SImple, the cameraman was asleep and half of Philly is a sleep at that time while the other half are out on street corners doin’ drugs. Again, how is a wrong way driver news?

    1. Ken Bowser says:

      It’s supposed to be a SECURE area.

  13. Solid Citizen says:

    Sleeping (or is it “Stealing”

    except when …


    Quo warranto, B.O.?

  14. TSA= says:

    This Whole Security Thing always been a sham. TSA are paid poor trained poor because the Company with the Gov Contract Keeps alot of the money they get instead of using to better security.

  15. Herman Vogel says:

    Hey, the cops and TSA were Union and on break,,,AND NO ONE INTERRUPTS A UNION BREAK TIME!!
    Add to that,,,No way should this have been reported or reported the way it was,,the pilot showed why this was the most important Taxiway at the airport and just how much damage a bomb culd do if smuggled onto the Ramp.’
    I work on a flightline and this was WRONG, you Never report all the sensitive points Our Media are Idiots,,and only care about their pathetic Product,,,that being selling the news WITH Commercails,,,you know, the 1% money people,,,LOL

    1. Lavetra Jackson says:

      Its said idiots use capitals trying to make stupid points,,if you arent bright enough for a union job blame yourself,,

  16. BHirsh says:

    Good thing for the driver that he didn’t have a legal gun in his car, huh.

    Imagine the frothing and fretting that would have happened THEN.

    1. Ken Bowser says:

      oohhhhhhhhhh. right. You right wing extremist, clutching to your gun and bible. I almost forgot bigot. thats Obama’s view, I agree with you.

      1. Tom Menino says:


  17. Stig Larsen says:

    TSA again, proving their utter worthlessness. They were probably to busy trying to intimidate an old lady, to worry about what was happening outside.

    1. LaQuan Demitrius Theodorius Jackson says:

      For the one hundred thousandth time: Government IS the problem.

  18. maluka says:

    TSA-The Stupid A$$holes are going to investigate why they did not stop ANOTHER security violation./ Do they even have a clue that they do not know what they are doing???? An investigation is not needed. Face it these TSA people are idiots from top to the bottom. Problem identified.

  19. Scott M says:

    The people that want to know these things have known since the Lockerbie/PanAm 103 bombing that the real security vulnerability is with the people that work on and around the aircraft while they are on the ground.

    If you are smart enough to have fake ID without the name of someone on a terrorist watch list, you will get a genuine air-side ID badge and you could load an elephant into the aircraft without TSA knowing.

    Get a terrorist a job cleaning aircraft or delivering catering to the aircraft and there is no effective security on aircraft. If a terrorist is willing to work for minimum-wage and supply an ID and work history they will have more access than unscreened passengers. Remember this the next time TSA ask you to spread your cheeks and cough.

  20. AZWarrior says:

    TSA refused to investigate because there were no kids to feel up.

  21. cbinflux says:

    Heh. He thought it was the Philadelphia Impound Lot.

    Parking Wars!

  22. moron says:

    No problem. TSA response is to check all internet messages for folks ranting against big government. Then the response will be to check more elderly and children attempting to board an airplane.

  23. Shawn says:

    testing the system they are.

  24. david5300 says:

    Was he in a wheelchair, if he was not only would they have caught him but they would have striped searched him as well.
    Of cource they would have denided it later

  25. Skiff Izlaan says:

    For all we know, Pres.Obama probably allowed this to happen to test the defenses.

    1. Michael Wartman says:

      look… i dislike obama as much as the next person, but what does this have to do with obama? what about this even brought him to mind?

      1. TheRealKingMax says:

        M.W. – same here, and you’re right.

        Let’s not all turn into mind-numbed liberals here….

  26. Jim in Houston says:

    I guess we now understand why they are called “Thousands Standing Around”.

  27. bill says:

    “Will Obama prosecute FOXNEWS owner?” I don’t think that TSA can find it’s butt with both hands.

  28. Fred Friar says:

    at the Gibraltar air port there is a street that crosses the active, traffic is contgrolled with a stop light really!!!

  29. Regulas says:

    The TSA gestapo were too busy feeling up little kids and old women to care.

    1. Dennis Rutherford says:

      The TSA does not man those airport checkpoints. That is done by rent a cops or actual airport cops.

  30. sb36695 says:

    They would have caught him if he had a cupcake!

  31. Ramp Rat says:

    Car got by…..2 private guards in !st in booth….then city division of aviation person in the Badge booth…….then Phila. Police officer and vehicle……….think there is a problem?….City paid Millions for gate…….stopped working after 1st three days>>>>>>>>>Ramp/Airfield Safety? TWO Police cars assigned to Airfield before they built and added Terminal “F” and new A/West international terminal (Size of three normal terminals) AND BEFORE 9/11!!!……….guess how many they added.after A/West F and 9/11….0….NONE……..took one of the only two cars…made them sit at gate area where car got by and stare at the moon for 8 hours…..stare long enough….Eyes will close……………….The Airport Knows/TSA Knows/Employees Know….IF they cannot get the Airlines to pay for IT…..It don’t Happen………………….

    1. Ken Bowser says:

      TSA will never work and isn’t designed to. It was set up to intimidate people and see how far they can go. TSA is reactive, not proactive and they’ll never stop anybody except you and me getting on a plane with nothing “illegal”.

  32. Ryan Mouk says:

    If the driver was over 85 or under 5 they would have never made it past the front door without being strip searched for explosive cupcakes or C4 grade adult diapers.

  33. borntobepolitical says:


    New TSA rule: From now on, there will be no horses in the bar.

  34. Ryan says:

    These are the people we believe will protect us? Oh please.

    Survive the apocalypse: don’t be stupid.

    1. Ken Bowser says:

      Their there to itimidate you, not protect you. Wake up.

  35. Steven Monfrini says:

    In 1997 I was able to enter Austin Muller Airport thru a secure entrance. I did have a security badge issued to me in 1995. I was a contractor for American Airlines at the time. I had not been informed that I wasn’t suppose to enter through this gate. I crossed a taxi way and parked at the end of the jet way as this was the area I was working at the time. I was surprised my badge worked.The cops did show up after ten minutes. I was able unload my tools and material I was using before the women cop showed up….. on a bicycle. There were many aircraft at the end of the jet way at the time, both loading and unloading. I was told I could no longer use the entrance, but allowed to stay for this last day. I know this was before 2001 but it goes to show that security wasn’t what it should have been. There was other things about this place that wasn’t so secure such as being able to get from the parking lot to the American end of the jet way from the short term parking lot through the ventilation system. I found this out inadvertently during my work under the airport. I wonder how many airports are really insecure.

    1. David from San Diego says:

      Worse yet, the crooked real estate developers, politicians, and debenture (“bond”) lawyers made tens of millions when they later closed Muller Airport and moved AUS to Bergstrom. I get angry about that every time I fly into “AUS” and then drive a very long way into Austin. Thank the Good Lord the crooks here in San Diego failed in their evil effort to close Lindbergh and open a new SAN somewhere far out of town.

  36. Mannie says:

    The contractor gates are not necessarily all that secure. I used to drive my truck onto ORD airside for work. My guess is that they checked in a string of vehicles and messed up the count. Tagging onto the tail of a group is the oldest trick in the book for getting through checkpoints. It is an easytrick to fall for, but inexcusable. Security ranges from lunatic to ludicrous, almost at random.

    Once on Airside, you drive along the truck roads without escort. We parked on the aprons, next to the aircraft. You had to be careful, as jet exhaust cah wreck your truck. It would be frighteningly easy, if you don’t know how airfields are marked, to turn onto a taxiway. The good news is that taxiway traffic. including aircraft, is moving pretty slowly. It would be harder to turn onto a runway by accident.

  37. frank says:

    an ATC controller on ground control is the guilty party here but no one seems to get that..!

    1. vfebwvfewb says:

      It was at night, and not near the tower. Ground control doesn’t have a visual at night. Hence the need for security forces at the fence.

      1. ATC says:

        Umm,like they have Radar! Or does the union turn it off while they sleep in the tower!

      2. Jason says:

        ATC – Are you really stupid enough to believe that ATC had planes on radar while they are on the ground?? Are you even able to tie your shoes in the morning?

    2. D. Winn says:

      OMG! Did the TSA find him and perform a Pat-Down? On the Tarmac or runway?

  38. c mac of 22911 says:

    The TSA couldn’t fix a peanut better sandwich.

  39. Malachi says:

    TSA bigs and dumb emps should be rounded up and fired..ps must be Bush’s fault too

    1. Jeronimo Dan says:

      At least that crosse dresserr that heads the TSA, what’s his name James Neopolitano?

      1. Regulas says:

        thanks, i needed my daily chuckle

  40. BillYBoy says:

    Probably just Steve Martin trying to get back to Chicago for Thanksgiving dinner with the family.

    1. JamesPainter says:


  41. Jeffrey Betts says:

    Give the TSA a break they were to busy making granny drop her depends or molesting children to spot this.

    1. Mike says:

      Oh my God. This wasn’t even a TSA issue. It was the local police that dropped the ball. Is there anything you idiots won’t blame TSA for? Global warming? Poor resale value on your home? Get over it.

      1. SuperCut says:

        You mean there more things they can be accused of? What a great idea. I knew they’re ineffective and incompetent when it comes to air travel, but given this new info I guess we can get rid of them sooner.

      2. Yukiko says:

        Isn’t TSA supposed to be guarding ALL checkpoints? Not that them guarding anything would make it safe or protected.

      3. John Moser says:

        If they have time to randomly search people at train stations, perhaps they should spend a little time protecting the runways.

      4. Ricky Ricardo says:

        T.S.A. = Transportation Security Administration,
        security usually infers keeping access to only those authorized.

      5. oldud says:

        If the TSA would have been involved, they would have searched him and his taxi. When they were through, the taxi driver would be missing his wallet, watch, wheels, spare tire and radio.

  42. Frederick says:

    The ‘Commerical’, as opposed to the ‘Public’ side of nearly all Airports in the US has as long as you look like you know what you’re doing, no one will care. And the tarmac usually continues all the way up to where your flight is taking off.

    1. Frederick says:

      (Looks llike the TSA is editing comment now!). Add ‘poor security and anyone can get on the tarmac’, after ‘US has’

  43. Norbert G. Ginsel says:

    I’m very glad they are going to investigate. After a year or so, they will report that it actually happened, but it was not the fault of the TSA. Case closed.

    Plan B: Well,, OK it was partially of the fault of the TSA in that one of their guys was drunk on the job and absent from his assigned post. He has been given retraining so he’ll do better next time. Case closed.

  44. snipelee says:

    Anyone notice that the nationality of the driver and passenger are absent in this story?

    1. Jim Bunion says:

      Most Terrorists are White Males with CIA and Demo skills.

  45. TheivesStealingAmerica says:

    Come on now, give TSA a break – equal opportunity corruption is a constitutional right under Obama’s new constitution for America – all the TSA agents were going through luggage looking to sweeten their salaries by stealing and the rest were dreaming of putting their hands up little girls skirts when their shift started.

    1. Sara says:

      Read the article. It was local police securing the gate, you idiot.

  46. Brian says:

    If PHL is anything like DFW, and it sounds to me like it is, then TSA is not at fault, despite the hyperventilating ramblings of the comments here. At DFW, access to the AOA is controlled by private security (that private security so beloved by TSA critics) contracted by the local airport police. Being that the police officer is the one in trouble for letting this guy drive right on by, I’m guessing PHL has a similar setup. Sorry guys, TSA isn’t to blame here; they are just in the headline so you critics will click on the article! Rubes…

  47. Government Hand-Rapists says:

    Never fear, the TSA is examining to determine what occurred.

    They’re conducting pelvic exams even as we speak.

  48. PokedNprodded says:

    The TSA is nothing more than a jobs program for chronically unemployable pimply social-misfit cop-wannabee teenagers who would otherwise never get experience in touching another human being in their entire socially-backwards lives.

  49. Tim G. says:

    If a terrorist can build a bomb, I’m sure he can create a mock taxi to get on the Taxiway. This whole thing is ridiculous and reactionary

    1. John Moser says:

      He might be able to make a mock run to get on the runway too.

  50. Peter says:

    The checkpoint personnel were likely on their customary union break.

    1. Willy says:

      Tim G. Are ‘Taxiways’ for taxis in your funny world? Just wondering.

      1. Joe Blow says:

        You may have missed the subtle humor.

      2. Whit Soul says:

        Is sarcasm effective when it has to be explained?

        Or does this occurrence say more about the reader than the writer?

      3. Not Chicken Little says:

        And Runways are for…oh, never mind. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.

  51. Joseph L Cooke says:

    Defund the TSA gang of thugs today. It’s time for some US citizens to grow a spine.

    Liberals are a cancer upon America. 2012. Cure cancer.

  52. Jimbo says:

    “TSA investigates”? That’s a joke.
    What has TSA found in the past 11 years of violating the rights of American citizens? Underwear bombs? Nope……Shoe bombs? Don’t think so…..Colostomy bags? Oh yeah! Granny ain’t gittin’ on dat plane wit a colostomy bag!

    TSA is a Bush Administration jobs program for the chronically unemployed.

    1. Joseph L Cooke says:

      Exactly. Well said.

    2. Jumbo says:

      Yeah, yeah, It’s Bush’s fault (yawn). If Obama is so great, why didn’t he disband the TSA? Because he’s an idiot and a moron, that’s why. Sorry, it’s OBAMA’s program now. Will he or his minions ever grow up and take responsibility – for anything?

    3. Sara says:

      I work for TSA. First off, for you know-nothing stereotyping windbags, I have prior military service and two college degrees. Secondly, I prevented a woman from carrying a handgun onto a plane last week. That is not really an uncommon occurence. You sit at home armchair pundits know absolutely nothing of what you speak.

      1. Ghoul says:

        The guards at the Nazi concentration camps said it wasn’t their fault either.

      2. X-15 says:

        “I work for TSA.”

        Please commit suicide and get off my planet.

      3. oldud says:

        The TSA, according to a GAO (Goverment Accounting Agency) report, had a failure rate of 70% in detecting explosives, guns, knives and other banned items when the GAO teams tested their detection abilities. Just recently, a man got a loaded 9mm pistol through the TSA security at IAH without being caught. He turned himself in when he discovered he had inadvertently left it in his carry on. Nice going, Sara.

  53. Bubba says:

    We used to be citizens, we are now suspects.

  54. Klaus says:

    How come TSA workers don’t change their gloves between passengers, but my doctor does? If my doctor can safely use his gloves from one patient to the next, why doesn’t he?

    1. Andrew P. says:

      Same reason you suspect (I bet): Your doctor cares about your well-being. TSA does not. Medical Professionals usually dont wear gloves for your protection, it’s for theirs. Same with the TSA. However, there is no sense in transferring germs from one patient to the next, so to prevent it, your doc will change gloves. TSA, however, doesn’t care about your health/safety; their job is to give the appearance of security only.

      1. Klaus says:

        The risk of dying from a communicable disease I am exposed to at an airport is far greater than the risk of dying from a terrorist attack. If the TSA is touching my genitals or the drool on my shirt, they should not be allowed to touch the next person in line until they change their gloves and wash their hands. This is an assault on basic health care standards by our corrupt politicians, forcing us to accept third world conditions of hygiene. If the terrorists hate us for our freedom, then they love us for giving up our freedom.

  55. Bill Fisher says:

    TSA should be the one under investigation. While they’re wasting time groping children and strip searching elderly women, anyone can gain access to the airstrip. This is the same TSA incompetence that resulted in the death of Delvonte Tisdale last year when he stowed away in a plane wheel well. The TSA security director at PHL should be fired for this.

    This agency is a colossal failure and needs to be replaced with FAA operated security.

    1. Colonel Kilgore says:

      The Philly Police were at fault not TSA and you can fly in the plane where no passengers are vetted, good luck, Charlie don’t surf!

  56. A Bit of Thought says:

    I didn’t think the TSA would investigate this one – no one to fondle.

  57. Count Duku says:

    What do you expect, it’s Filthydelphia—unions & dems

    1. Faughornn Vonn says:

      yeah, as if Republicans didn’t create the TSA in the first place. Dems and Republicans both love the TSA. It’s easy to pass the Patriot Act when you’re exempt from it

      1. mmilesll says:

        the TSA now isn’t what the Republicans created, ask Congressman Mica. When the democrats got involved the administrative staff grew like gangbusters and of course nobama let them unionize. Now it is a joke, overstaffed and worthless.

  58. Mr Fields says:

    This is Bullsh^& there is no terror going on here, I don’t see anything going on that shows me anything like this nor in any of these fake wars that we have been fighting.

    This is all none sense people, it’s a hype to cause people to panic.

    1. USArmyCombatMedic says:

      The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are very real, my friend. Regardless of politics.

      1. Frank says:

        And molesting children and grandmothers in Atlanta stops the terror HOW?

      2. Faughornn Vonn says:

        you’re right, we really are bombing people over there, good point.

    2. Joe Blow says:

      Remember…if you see something, say something! Rat on your friends! You never know what granny is trying to slip past security!

      OR perhaps 9/11 was a systemic failure caused by federal agencies’ failure to communicate with one another. Hm.

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