Airport officials tightening security after stowaway incident

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport has joined the thousands of airports across the country in tightening security.

The move comes three days after a teenager managed to sneak aboard a flight from San Jose, Ca. to Hawaii. He hid in the wheel well of the jet for the five-hour flight.

When passengers travel through an airport, they expect to be under close observation. The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) is tasked with making sure no one gets through security without being checked. There is another level of surveillance you may not see, but it is present.

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Police Chief Anthony Williams said a team of at least six officers is tied into the communication system located in a small room. From there, a dispatcher watches a wall of monitors including flight arrivals and departures, and airport and airfield traffic. He said security is constantly changing.

"I get emails on a daily basis saying okay this happened to us. What do you guys have in place, and what can we do," Williams said.

Chief Williams said the airport recently added more lights and cameras to keep unwanted visitors out. If that does not stop potential trespassers in their tracks, he said, officers will.

"They (police officers) walk the area and park and challenge anyone they see without a valid airport I.D. card."

While Williams admits one can never be too sure when it comes to security, being ready around the clock is the best way to protect the perimeter.

"The only thing you can do is prepare. If there is a loophole you're not seeing, that's why you trust your officers."

Whether you're walking through a security checkpoint, waiting at the gate or boarding a plane, you can bet you are being watched.

Authorities have not yet determined how the 15 year-old boy found his way onto the tarmac in San Jose. But, they noted, some sections of the airport fence there are not secured by razor wire.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.