Swalwell calls for enhanced airport perimeter security

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) called for a program to find better ways to secure airport perimeters after touring the Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) on May 2.


A 15-year old California boy eluded perimeter security at SJC on April 20 and stowed away in the wheel well of a flight bound for Hawaii. The incident has raised questions about perimeter security at SJC and airports around the country.


Swalwell inspected the perimeter of SJC on his tour, including the gate where the Hawaiian Airlines flight took off with the stowaway. He concluded that changes need to be made.


"Currently there is no way for airport security at San Jose Airport to be alerted immediately when someone crosses the perimeter, a threat to the traveling public," Swalwell said. "I call on the TSA to implement pilot programs to test and deploy technologies so our airport perimeters are secure and passengers are protected."


He added that the solution to enhancing airport perimeter security may be found in Silicon Valley, where SJC is located.


Swalwell is currently the only member of the House Homeland Security Committee from Northern California. He also sits on the Subcommittee on Transportation Security.


The teenage stowaway Yahya Abdi survived the five-hour flight from SJC to Kahului Airport on the Hawaiin island of Maui. San Jose police said he could be charged with criminal trespassing.