Local News

Tuesday, Nov 20 2012 05:00 AM

Airport security is commission concern

The Tehachapi Airport Commission held a discussion at its Nov. 13 meeting on the security at the airport in light of recent break ins and thefts that have occurred in the Tehachapi area including the city public works shed that was hit for $21,000 worth of equipment.

Although the theft did not occur on airport property, the commission is concerned that the airport could become a target for thieves.

"Overall it has been pretty good," Chairman Eric Hansen said. "Since we had the thefts from hangers a few years back we really haven't had any events."

Airport Manager Tom Glasgow, agreed, saying in the last four years he has been at the airport he couldn't remember any significant events where anyone's hanger was broken into.

While the airport has fencing, security gates and requires security badges and an access code to enter, Kern security is currently doing some additional security at the airport and new signs are being put up on hangers and the fence.

"As far as security is concerned in addition to our gates we have our fences," Gaston Patterson said. "We've been inspected by the FAA, TSA and all those agencies say we're over the top for a general aviation air field. We have more than airports our size usually have."

However, the airport terminal being on an alley does pose a problem, and even though the airport has three security cameras facing the main areas of concern like the fuel farm and the front gate, a recent bike theft did occur, prompting Glasgow to propose relocating the existing bike locker to a more secure area and bolting it to the pavement.

The use of bike lockers like those used at other airports was also discussed, so the airport could make a few bikes available for use by pilots to ride into town.

The commission also discussed the use of additional security services, but determined it would not be cost effective.

"We really need to be observant and question any strangers that happen to be in the area," Glasgow said.

New signage

In presenting the managers report Glasgow noted that along with a new old school type sign on the roof of the building, which just says Tehachapi and the elevation. Two new signs were also being installed on the utility road where everyone uses the taxi lane for a road that will read, "Slow for taxiing aircraft."

He also noted that airport winterization had been completed.

The meeting lasted 45 minutes with commission members Eric Hansen, Jerry Koszk, Rex Moen and Bill Francis present. Commissioner Ken Wright was absent. The next regular meeting of the commission is scheduled for Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. in the pilots lounge at the airport.

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