Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport aims to finish installing concertina wire around the north side of the airfield by the end of October, a move that will make the fence “more intimidating,” according to an official.
The move comes after two separate incidents within a few weeks of each other earlier this year in which a trespasser breached the fenceline and got into the secure airfield area.
In one incident, a man scaled the fence and ran onto an active taxiway and, wearing only underwear, approached a plane full of passengers. In another, a man was found walking on an access road around the airfield inside the fence at around 2 a.m.
The first phase of installation of the coiled razor wire over three existing rows of barbed wire will cost about $2.5 million to $3 million, according to Tim Brown, director of construction support services at Hartsfield-Jackson.
Hartsfield-Jackson officials display a coil of the concertina wire at a press conference.
The second phase, to install the concertina wire on the fence surrounding the south side of the airfield including the fifth runway, will be complete by mid-December, he said.
“It makes it more intimidating,” said Hartsfield-Jackson director of security Jan Lennon.
Also being installed are more tie wires securing the fence to bars, to prevent someone from pulling the fence away from the bars.
The two phases will cover the 15 miles of security fencing that surrounds the airport, Brown said. “It’s a major deterrence, both the visual and the physical” effect, he said.
Hartsfield-Jackson interim general manager Balram Bheodari has said he expects the work will cost a total of about $5 million, to be paid with airport funds.
Also under consideration are technological security measures, such as sensors.
Lennon said the airport also plans to eventually enhance other fencing at the airport.