San Francisco International led the nation's major airports in perimeter security breaches during the past decade -- and Mineta San Jose International Airport ranked fifth -- according to an analysis of incidents where intruders hopped fences, slipped past guardhouses, crashed cars through gates or otherwise entered areas restricted to protect aircraft and their passengers.
The analysis by the Associated Press was prompted by last year's story of a teenager who climbed a fence at San Jose International, hoisted himself into a jet's wheel well and survived a flight to Hawaii.
Through public records requests, news archive searches and interviews, the AP created the most comprehensive public accounting of perimeter security breaches from January 2004 through January 2015 at San Jose and the nation's 30 busiest airports. The analysis excluded breaches inside the airport, such as when serial stowaway Marilyn Hartman slipped through checkpoints and flew unticketed from San Jose to Los Angeles last year after failed attempts in San Francisco.
"This might be the next vulnerable area for terrorists as it becomes harder to get the bomb on the plane through the checkpoint," said airport security expert Jeff Price.