ATLANTA -- Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is taking major steps to improve security around the campus after two intruders breached the fencing earlier in the summer -- one getting chillingly close to an arriving Delta aircraft.
The breaches raised serious security concerns and hastened major improvements that are now underway. The enhancements are along a 15 mile stretch of security fencing surrounding the airport.
The ultimate goal: make it virtually impossible for anyone to go over or under the fence and breach airport security. Combined with the improved fencing will be enhancements to closed-circuit television and high-tech sensors.
Rounded "concertina" fencing is being installed on the top laced with razor blades. At the bottom, the fence is secured with special internal tabs to a concrete base.
The fencing is 11 feet high and includes barbed wire.
Construction has already started on the 15-mile stretch that extends in what is known as the airport's highest security areas. That runs past the passenger terminals and air cargo facilities.
The enhancements are being done in two phases and the $3 million project is expected to be completed by December.
Timothy Brown, director of Construction Management Support Services at the airport knows the importance of going that extra step to ensure airport security.
“The fence, as it currently stands without the enhancement, meets [Federal Aviation Administration] FAA regulations in terms of the height of the fabric, the tension wires, and outriggers," Brown said. "These are all within the regulations and the enhancement is being added as now we are seeing things that we would not normally expect that people would do.”
No decision has been made yet by airport security personnel on the type of high technology sensors or added closed-circuit television that will be included. But they intend to make sure that anyone who attempts to penetrate the airport perimeter is quickly stopped and apprehended.