TRENTON – Legislation to toughen penalties for airport security breaches was released Thursday by an Assembly committee.
The bill (A-2288) was introduced after the Jan. 3 incident at Newark Liberty International Airport involving Haisong Jiang, 28, a Rutgers University graduate student who lives in Piscataway.
Jiang was arrested after authorities identified him as the man who slipped under a security ribbon after a guard briefly left his post. Jiang entered an area where passengers already had been screened. When someone noticed what happened, the terminal was shut down for six hours.
The bill – released the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee -would:
- Establish the crime of entering into restricted airport property in violation of federal security requirements.
- Set forth two restricted areas on public airports.
- The first area, a “sterile passenger holding area” is defined as any portion of a public airport designated by appropriate signs as an area into which access is conditioned upon the prior inspection of persons and property.
- The second area, an “operational area” is defined as any portion of a public airport, from which access by the public is prohibited by fences or appropriate signs.
Under the bill, any person who knowingly trespasses in these areas would be guilty of a fourth degree crime punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to 18 months or both.
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