Security Breach Causes Denton Airport to Revamp Security Access - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Security Breach Causes Denton Airport to Revamp Security Access

Denton Enterprise Airport to discourage tenants from leaving gates open



    People at the Denton Airport say they're refocusing their security after finding fences to the airfield were left wide open. (Published Friday, July 26, 2013)

    The Denton Enterprise Airport is renewing a call for security awareness after several fence gates to the airfield were left wide open and unattended.

    The city of Denton said in a notice Friday that several unauthorized vehicles have driven onto ramp areas at the airport through open gates.

    Airport Director Quentin Hix said it's common for tenants at the small airport to leave the gates open for easy access.

    "An airport with the number of tenants we have who are used to working with free access to and from their hangers, anywhere we put up a fence or a gate, of course, we're creating a challenge for them," he said.

    Denton Enterprose is a general aviation airport, meaning it doesn't run large passenger flights. Most of the companies based at the airport run charter flights, private or business planes or other aircraft, such as helicopters.

    The airport doesn't follow the same tight security regulations and laws that commercial airports follow, for example, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

    A Transportation Security Administration presence is not required or held at the airport.

    The airport still has a responsibility for safety, including the simple things such as having tenants close the gates, Hix said.

    "We want to get them used to closing the gate behind them," Hix said.

    Hix said the airport plans to start keeping closer tabs on the tenants and watch the nonautomated gates more closely. If a gate that doesn't need to be open is found left open, it will be zip-tied shut as an inconvenient reminder to the tenant to close it next time.

    Hix said the airport plans to add more interior fencing around the airfield as it continues to expand. He expects the project to take a year and a half or so.

    The airport also recently added additional security cameras.

    "There is an issue of safety, for sure, the security that goes with improving our service and being able to draw in more of that charter service we're looking for," Hix said.

    Hix says the airport is also planning ahead in case the TSA does start regulating general aviation airports. If that happens, he wants Denton Enterprise to be a strong example of how the regulations can be applied practically.