A 22-year-old Georgia woman was arrested Tuesday night after being spotted on a runway at a Houston airport, according to police.
The incident marked the second time in less than two weeks that an unauthorized person gained access to a restricted area at Bush Intercontinental Airport. Jehffrey Gutirres, a 26-year-old man from Guatemala, is accused of trying to stow himself in the landing gear compartment of a plane on May 27, which allegedly was the third time this spring that he was found trespassing at the airport, according to documents filed in Harris County court.
On Tuesday, 22-year-old Ivori Howard was allegedly seen on the runway at about 8:30 p.m., according to Houston Police Department spokesperson Shay Awosiyan, who said she was detained by police about 15 minutes later, causing brief flight delays. No injuries were reported in association with the incident, Awosiyan said.
Houston Airports, which manages operations at the city’s airports on behalf of the municipal government, said in a statement that the woman accessed the airfield by going underneath a gap in a perimeter fence, which subsequently was closed by the airport system in coordination with the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
“Due to recent security breaches, Houston Airports is reiterating a regularly shared message of security culture to staff and stakeholders at Bush Airport, Hobby Airport and Ellington Airport: be vigilant. If you see something, say something,” the airport system said in its statement.
Howard, who is from the Atlanta area, has been charged with intent to impair or interrupt the operation of a critical infrastructure facility, a state jail felony, according to court records, which did not list a defense attorney for her as of early Wednesday afternoon.
Houston Airports said operations at Bush, Hobby and Ellington “meet all federal security requirements, inside and outside the airport.” The staff at Bush oversees 10,000 acres of land, including 100 miles of roadways, 43 miles of runways and taxiways and about 30 miles of perimeter fencing, according to the airport system.