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

From Nina Melendez, CNN
updated 9:29 AM EDT, Tue August 14, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The man told police he was on a jet ski in Jamaica Bay, adjacent to the airport
  • He got stranded, he said, and climbed onto the tarmac at Kennedy Airport
  • The airport's multi-million-dollar security system failed to detect him
  • The Port Authority is calling for "an expedited review of the incident"

New York (CNN) -- A multi-million-dollar intrusion-detection system at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport failed to notice a man who walked onto a runway Sunday, authorities said.

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, according to Port Authority of New York & New Jersey 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 (PIDS), is manufactured by the Massachusetts-based 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, 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 in New York City. 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 Penninsula.

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

In 2011: Serious lapses in security on JFK airport shuttle

Man boards plane without ticket or security check in San Diego

CNN's Khara Lewin contributed to this report.

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