Love Field Security Called Into Question After Chase

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    NEWSLETTERS

    46-year-old Michael Laurence Browne's easy access to the tarmac at Dallas Love Field has prompted some to call into question the security of airports and why the police didn't use more force once Browne drove on to airport property.

    Browne led police on an hour-long chase that ended beside a runway inside Love Field.

    DPD Chase Ends Between Love Field Runways

    [DFW] DPD Chase Ends Between  Love Field Runways
    Raw Video: Dallas police pursued a carjacking suspect through the city all the way to Love Field where he rammed through a security gate and found himself on the tarmac. He didn't stop there, the driver then drove over an active runway, prompting a halt to all air traffic. (Published Thursday, Aug 19, 2010)

    "How do these airports, like Love Field, how is their physical protection, their physical plan for the airport in such a state that you can drive a pickup truck with two flat tires through the protection and get on the airport?" said Denny Kelly, aviation security expert. "He could have just as easily rammed an airplane that was taking off or landing as he did what he did. They don't know what the guy's intentions are."

    Luis Casanova, a spokesman with the Transportation Security Administration, said there are several levels of security at airports. Despite Browne breaching the perimeter fence, law enforcement responded quickly, he said.

    Love Field Security Questioned

    [DFW] Love Field Security Questioned
    The DPD chase that ended between runways at Dallas Love Field has many questioning the perimeter security at the airport. (Published Friday, Aug 20, 2010)

    "All airports have an approved security plan that includes perimeter security," Casanova said. "But I would think in light of this incident there would be some considerations made."

    "What happened yesterday is just something that doesn't happen every day," said Dan Weber, Director of Aviation at Love Field. "So we have no conclusions to decide whether or not any changes need to be made."

    When asked about concerns something similar could happen again, he responded, "If you wish to violate the law and violate federal regulations, you can do what you want."

    Police said they notified Love Field and the FAA that the chase had entered the airport, but the order to shut down the tarmac didn't come until later.

    DPD Chase Threads Through Dallas Traffic

    [DFW] DPD Chase Threads Through Dallas Traffic
    A carjacking suspect led Dallas police on a chase through the city threading through heavy traffic, bumping drivers, driving on the wrong side of the road and even evading stop sticks. (Published Thursday, Aug 19, 2010)

    "Why wouldn't they do it before, when they know DPD is chasing a suspect and they didn't know what he was going to do? Because the chase didn't effect air operations until he went through the gate." said Jose Luis Torres with the city of Dallas.

    Torres said the city is now planning to take a hard look at the physical security around Love Field.

    "If there are barricades we need put up or how we need to make it better," said Dallas police Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse. "Because I can understand the concern of the public that a pickup truck can go through a fence like that."

    NBCDFW has also learned blockades near the passenger terminal at Love Field have malfunctioned, with one blockage stuck in the up position, and one stuck in the down position.

    Browne faces charges including evading arrest, criminal mischief and aggravated robbery as well as unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to the Dallas Police Department he may face additional charges from the FAA for breaching airport security.

    More: Chase Suspect Facing Several Charges