Stranded Jet-Skier Bypasses Security at JFK

If your confidence in airport security was already low, then this news item probably won’t do anything to improve your outlook.

A stranded jet-skier whose watercraft had broken down in Jamaica Bay, just outside New York City, managed to bypass $100 million worth of security equipment at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday night, as he climbed a perimeter fence, walked across two runways, and headed straight into Terminal 3.

With minimal effort, the man was able to outsmart the motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras that make up JFK’s Perimeter Intrusion Detection System, or PIDS. Port Authority investigators ultimately charged the man with criminal trespassing, but only after he himself approached a Delta Airlines employee and asked for help.

Given the frequency with which security lapses are discovered at airports around the country these days, FlyerTalk members seem unsurprised by this latest tale. “…This further highlights to the stupidity of current DHS policies when it comes to airport security. The spendthrift policies have shown no real gains in actually making things safer,” says FlyerTalk member WChou.

FlyerTalk members also question why the stranded jet-skier, 31-year-old Daniel Casillo, was arrested rather than taken to a hospital for examination. “Swimming 3 miles in those waters at night….he’s lucky to still have all his limbs attached, he’s the luckiest guy around,” says FlyerTalk member bocastephen. “Charged with criminal trespass? How about ensuring he is ok and taking him to the hospital for treatment?”

What’s your take? Should Mr. Casillo have been arrested, or commended for pointing out obvious flaws in JFK’s Perimeter Intrusion Detection System? Do stories like this make you feel less safe about flying in the future?

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