A man walking through an employees-only door with his daughter led to
the evacuation of about 200 people from the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena
The evacuation occurred about 9 a.m. Tuesday after an airport
employee spotted 39-year-old David Houser of Agoura Hills and his
daughter entering a preflight waiting area via an employees entrance
and alerted authorities, airport police Chief Mike Post said.
“Apparently, in a brief moment of bad judgment, he saw the
opportunity to enter,” Post said. “But we’re not sure whether he
caught the door when it was closing or if it was ajar, because his
statement was inconsistent.”
The evacuation lasted about 10 minutes, followed by an estimated
30-minute delay while passenger bags were re-screened, Post said.
One flight was delayed by 15 minutes, he said.
Lucy Burghdorf, director of community relations for the airport,
said Houser was “marginally cooperative” when questioned by airport
police but released because he did not pose a safety threat. Police
did not release the name and the age of the man’s daughter.
“There was no evidence of criminal intent,” Burghdorf said.
Following the incident, airport employees were prohibited from
using the door in question near Gate B5 in the United Airlines
terminal, Post said.
“While we’re reviewing both the policy procedures and the
technical issues, we’ve taken the door out of service indefinitely
until it’s fixed,” he said.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there have been six
evacuations related to breaches of security, Post said, adding that
none were considered major incidents. He called Tuesday’s incident an
“For the first time in my career, I got a commending e-mail from a
traveler saying that [the evacuation] went very well,” he said.