Airplane Stowaway

     A fifteen year old boy recently found his way into the wheel well of a Boeing 767 jumbo jet. The San Jose resident managed to vault a security barrier at 1:00 a.m. along the runway of the Mineta San Jose International Airport after lingering outside the tarmac for six hours. Security cameras spotted the boy overcoming the barrier and walking along the runway towards the jumbo jet.

     He managed to climb inside the wheel well undetected, where he would remain for the five and a half hour flight from California to Maui, Hawaii. He fell unconscious for most of the flight, as the low oxygen and frigid temperatures were extremely stressful on his body. He was recovered extremely disoriented after being spotted in Maui. No criminal charges were filed.

     In response to the boy’s ingression, many have called for Airport security improvements, including California State Representative Eric Swalwell. While many immediately blamed the Travel Security Agency (TSA), it is crucial to understand the shared security role between the TSA, airport personnel, and local police. The TSA is limited to the terminal interior, whereas the local police and airport personnel operate outside the terminal. Agents have responded to the situation with claims to a lack of organization.