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Airport CEO Answers City Council’s Questions About Security After Gate Crashing

(Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke, left, talks airport security with Mark Gale, CEO of the city's airports.  Photo from City of Phila. TV)

(Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke, left, talks airport security with Mark Gale, CEO of the city’s airports. Photo from City of Phila. TV)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The incident last month in which a 24-year-old man rammed a gate at Philadelphia International Airport (see related story) has prompted the airport to review the strength of its security perimeter.

Mark Gale, CEO of Philadelphia International Airport, appeared before City Council on the airport’s budget yesterday, but it was security that was on the minds of lawmakers.

Council president Darrell Clarke asked Gale what’s been done since March 1st, when a man rammed a gate with his SUV and drove onto a runway, “because all it would take is one incident and — as we saw on 9/11 — it could change the whole scope of what we’re trying to do in this country.”

Gale answered, “We’re taking it very seriously and we’re giving it all due review, and we’re looking at ways to greatly strengthen the perimeter barrier around the airport.”

Gale obviously didn’t provide more detail on stepped-up security, other than to say “it’s about everybody being vigilant.”  He added that “security wedges” — platforms that can be raised to block a vehicle — were being considered for some airport access points.

The man accused of ramming the airport gate, 24-year Kenneth Mazik, faces federal charges and has been ordered to undergo psychiatric examinations.

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