Security system fails to detect man on runway at New York's Kennedy Airport

Raytheon CompanyPort Authority of New York and New JerseyKennedy AirportDelta Air Lines

A multimillion-dollar intrusion-detection system at New York's Kennedy Airport failed to notice a man who walked onto a runway Sunday, authorities said Monday.

The man, who was arrested after he was spotted by an airline employee, told police he was on a jet ski on Jamaica Bay adjacent to the runway and became stranded, so he swam to land, according to Port Authority official Anthony Hayes.

The man climbed onto the tarmac from the water but the airport's security system did not detect him.

The security system, called Perimeter Intrusion Detection System, is manufactured by the Raytheon company. According to Raytheon's website, the mission of the $100 million system is "to detect, assess and track intruders attempting to gain access into exterior secure areas."

The system includes ground surveillance radars, video cameras with motion detection and "smart" fencing, according to Raytheon's website.

In a statement, the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, which oversees the airport, called for "an expedited review of the incident and a complete investigation to determine how Raytheon's perimeter intrusion detection system -- which exceeds federal requirements -- could be improved. Our goal is to keep the region's airports safe and secure at all times."

Raytheon would not comment on the incident.

The airport is located in Jamaica Bay in the southeast section of Queens County. The runway where the man was spotted juts out into water that is surrounded by marsh and wetlands. The bay is easily accessible from the Rockaway Peninsula.

According to a complaint filed by the Queens district attorney, a Delta Airlines employee observed the man "walking across the runway," he was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing.


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