SAN FRANCISCO INT’L AIRPORT (KPIX 5) – It was the list no airport wanted to top, but coming in at number one in an Associated Press investigation, San Francisco International Airport had 37 perimeter breaches in the past decade.
In a news conference Thursday morning, SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel tried to spin the dubious distinction. “We chose to provide this level of detail, so I would submit to you that, in terms of how we compared to other airports, I would say that we shared the most information of perimeter issues of any airport,” he said.READ MORE: 'Not A Drought Buster'; Rare April Storm Front Moving Toward San Francisco Bay Area
Of the 37 breaches, Yakel said six were boaters and windsurfers passing the 200-yard buffer zone around the runways in San Francisco Bay. Another four breaches were along fence lines.
Yakel said by far, the largest problem was homeless people, accounting for 16 incidents.
“We do have a homeless shelter that’s adjacent to the airport perimeter. We’ve been in extensive outreach with that homeless shelter and our goal is to make sure the occupants of that homeless shelter keep a safe distance away from our airport perimeter,” Yakel said.READ MORE: Suspect Arrested For Allegedly Terrorizing Antioch Family, Fatally Shooting Pet Dog While Fleeing Police
On the northern edge of SFO, sits Safe Harbor, and its 99 beds. Shelter CEO Bart Charlowe told KPIX 5 that the suggestion that his clients are the problem is false.
“In the fifteen years we have operated Safe Harbor, we have only had actually one incident of our residents going into the airport property, so it’s not true,” Charlowe said. “I actually think somebody probably misstated the facts. But they do know very well it’s not due to us.”
Of the 37 breaches, two people had access to planes: One at a corporate jet facility on airport property, the other, the son of pilot who wandered into a secure zone.
“I would tell you that the goal is always zero,” Yakel said.MORE NEWS: Drought-Stricken Marin Putting Into Place Tough Water Use Restrictions
The airport has averaged about 3-4 breaches a year.