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A man was arrested Christmas night after running onto an airport tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Robert Bump was spotted climbing over a barbed wire fence by tower employees. Employees for the airport notified the police as well as the pilot of the Southwest Airlines plane waiting in the taxi-way. The pilot immediately turned off the plane’s engines before the man arrived to the plane.
If the engine had not been turned off, Bump could have been seriously injured. He immediately started hitting the plane’s engine when he reached the plane.
“He’s lucky to be alive,” said Deputy Aviation Director Deborah Ostreicher, notes The Arizona Republic.
Phoenix Sky Harbor is one of the country’s busiest airports, according to Ostreicher. She also says the key to handling these kinds of incidents is trained employees responding quickly and appropriately.
The airport security has been breached before but officials say the fence is not the problem. The airport currently has an 8- to 9-foot fence and the Federal Aviation Administration only requires a 6-foot fence.
The Associated Press notes Bump was possibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was arrested with a misdemeanor charge.
Airport officials note that no passengers were in harm’s way due to this incident. Only the man running on the tarmac was in possible danger.