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PHL preps for holiday travel security hassels

December 21, 2012 3:31:42 PM PST
Philadelphia International Airport and law enforcement officials are feeling readily prepared for the holiday crowds this travel season.

Business as usual at the airport has been anything but normal this past year.

In March, Kenneth Mazik from Chester County, smashed through an airport security fence and took a joy ride down the runway.

"I'm thinking I've never heard of anything like that before, and what could possibly be going on," said Capt. Joe Sullivan, Philadelphia Police Department.

The high speed chase threatened the lives of passengers on an arriving plane and created a massive emergency.

The danger only shut down the airport for a mere 38 minutes.

"Talking to my colleagues across the country, they find that to be quite amazing," saud Capt. Sullivan.

As the holidays approach, federal security officials say that there are no explicit threats at PHL.

With no specific threats, there are no specific plans to step up security.

"Our attitude is, we always need to be at the ultimate heightened state of alert," said Capt. Sullivan.

The constant state of alert prepared officials to respond quickly when Kenneth Smith called in a fake bomb threat earlier this year.

Smith allegedly pulled the prank to get back at his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend for posting a compromising picture on Facebook.

Officials quickly got the plane turned back around and the airport was back in business.

The seamless coordination between police, the FBI, airport officials and the TSA may explain how Philadelphia has one of the fastest responses to extreme emergencies.

So while travelers can expect normal holiday delays, the TSA has already tested all of its equipment to make sure your trip through security is as painless as possible.


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