Thu, Jun 23, 2005
M. Jodi Rell Orders Inspections Of All State Airports
Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell
Thursday ordered homeland security inspections of all airports in
the state after police say a 20-year old man, along with two
16-year olds, stole an airplane and went on a drunken joyride that
ended in New York some three hours later.
As ANN reported in real time Thursday, the pilot,
Phillipe Patricio, was arrested at Westchester County Executive
Airport and charged with DUI -- the state has no law pertaining to
flying while drunk, so he was nabbed for operating the aircraft on
the unlit taxiway where he landed. Police said his blood-alcohol
content measured 0.15, twice the legal limit for operating a motor
vehicle in New York.
“Had the person who stole that plane had other intentions,
we could have had a very serious situation on our hands,”
Governor Rell said. “I want to be certain that every
precaution is taken and every safeguard is in place at our
airports. We cannot risk any threat to our citizens and public
The Governor has asked DEMHS Commissioner James M.
“Skip” Thomas to assemble teams to visit every one of
the dozens of small and mid-sized airports around Connecticut,
assess security at and around the airports and then make
recommendations for improvements wherever necessary. Most of the
airports are privately owned; some are state- or municipally owned,
such as Danbury.
“Public safety is always paramount, and if there are ways
we can help our local airports, we will do it,” Governor Rell
said. “Airport security remains a top priority, and I’m
certain that there are steps that can be taken so that all of us
can rest a little easier.”
The Governor said that all precautions large and small -–
from “booting” all planes on the ground to high-tech
security and surveillance measures -– will be reviewed and
considered for action. She said that Commissioner Thomas’
teams will come back with recommendations later this summer.
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