An NBC 5 investigation found cars abandoned right in front of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport again, and again with no visible response from police.
But one day after that investigation aired, NBC 5 Investigates went back to the airport and saw police right away, patrolling the curbs on bikes and on foot, including an officer catching one driver who left his car empty right in front of the terminal.
NBC 5 Investigates asked airport officials if the officers seen in front of the terminals were part of a new plan. Airport spokesman, David Magana sent a written response saying, “I am glad you saw the type of activity we would expect.”
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What cameras captured on Friday was different than previous visits made by NBC 5 Investigates.
Undercover video shot on six different days since September 2015 showed vehicles abandoned in front of airport terminals with no sign of police at all.
But, Friday NBC 5 Investigates saw D/FW Airport police patrolling outside the terminals on bikes and on foot.
At Terminal C, video shows one officer who spots a pickup truck abandoned at the curb. The officer looks over the car and appears to radio in the license plate.
In this case, the driver returns quickly and the officer appears to tell him he couldn’t leave his truck there. The officer does not write a ticket. The man shakes hands with the officer and then gets back in the car.
Security experts told NBC 5 Investigates all cars abandoned for more than a few minutes should be checked by police to make sure those cars are just parking violations and not security threats.
"You never want to assume that it’s just a normal situation, so you kind of go into a little bit of condition yellow at this point and start taking a look to see what it could be," said Jeff Price, aviation security expert and author of Practical Aviation Security, a leading textbook on airport security.
D/FW Airport officials insist they do ticket and tow thousands of cars every year even though NBC 5 Investigates did not see that happen in the majority of times they visited the airport.
"So there is a lot of work done in that area. Are we getting to every car? No," said Magana.
The mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth responded to questions today about the NBC 5 report. Both mayors are members of the D/FW Airport Board.
"Based on my years of service on the D/FW Airport Board and my extensive travel in and out of the airport, I have complete confidence in the security plan we have in place", said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, "Having said that, the parking violations identified in your report should have been addressed sooner."
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price sent a written statement saying, "When this issue was first raised, we were in touch with (D/FW Airport CEO) Sean Donahue and his team. These reports were largely traffic violations and we are confident that the airport has addressed those properly. D/FW International Airport has many safety and security measures that are within the overall plan to keep all that pass through the airport safe. I am fully confident in Donahue’s team at the airport to keep those arriving and departing from D/FW safe and sound."