Wings Magazine

Halifax security breached after woman scales fence to stop plane

Aug. 11, 2014, Halifax - RCMP arrested a woman Sunday at Halifax Stanfield International Airport after she scaled a barbed-wire fence and ran across the tarmac to stop a plane she believed was carrying her husband from taking off.

August 11, 2014  By The Chronicle Herald

The airport rerouted a small plane that had just landed and moved onto
the taxiway, airport authority spokesman Peter Spurway said Sunday.


The woman, who sustained several minor cuts, was taken to hospital for an assessment, said RCMP spokesman Sgt. Alain LeBlanc.



Spurway said this is the only time he can recall anyone getting past security and making it onto the airfield.


“I’ve been there (for more than) eight
years and this is the first incident of its kind that I’m aware of. The
fact that she was seen by the (navigation) tower very soon after she
got on the airfield is important in that they were able to ensure that no aircraft ever came near her.”


There were no planes near that section of the tarmac when the security
breach happened at about 8:30 a.m. other than the one diverted from the
taxiway, he said.


The airport uses several features to keep the runway secure, including
three metres of barbed wire at the top of the fence surrounding the
airfield. Cameras, heat sensors and motion detectors are also installed
at certain points along the fence’s perimeter, Spurway said.


Airport staff will hold a debriefing to see whether any security gaps led to the breach.


“We don’t believe that there are (any gaps),” Spurway said. “But the
details of how she got over that fence will be reviewed just to see if
there’s anything else we would need to do in that area to ensure the
airfield is as secure as we can make it.”


The Fall River-area woman, 37, first went to an airline counter asking
the company to stop one of its planes because she believed her partner
was leaving to see another woman, an employee at the airport said in an
interview. The employee did not want to be identified because it might
compromise his position.


The woman then drove toward the hangar and climbed the fence.


“She ended up going onto the bigger runway and she was essentially
wandering around there,” the employee said. “She was literally going to
try to stop the plane.”


An airport authority worker got the woman into a truck. Another subdued
her after she opened the door of the vehicle and began shouting, the
employee said.


“We contacted her partner who indicated that he was not on the aircraft,” LeBlanc said.


The Mounties do not expect to lay any charges, he said.


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