Woman breached Bush Intercontinental fencing by crawling underneath it, airport says

Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Woman breached IAH security by crawling underneath fence, airport says
Houston police said 22-year-old Ivori H. Howard was charged after trespassing on a runway at Bush Intercontinental Airport Tuesday night.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A woman is charged after police say she breached a security fence around Bush Airport and made it onto a runway Tuesday night.

Airport officials said 22-year-old Ivori H. Howard was spotted at about 8:30 p.m. near runway 15L - causing it to shut down immediately.

Dispatchers described the events to the Houston Police Department as the woman walked around a secured area at the airport.

"Security breach, I guess, I'm not really sure. It says female on the runway in a brown tank top, blue jeans. Runway RW 15R," the dispatcher said.

About 15 minutes later, Howard was reportedly taken into custody, and the runway was back open.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Houston Intercontinental Airport runway briefly closed after report of trespasser on tarmac

A runway was shut down briefly Tuesday evening after a report of an unauthorized person on a runway at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Police said Howard was not a passenger. Houston Airports System sent ABC13 a statement explaining how Howard may have breached security:

"After investigating, Houston Airports determined the woman gained access to the airfield under a portion of perimeter fence that meets federal regulation. Houston Airports worked with TSA to close the gap in the portion of fencing by welding additional security infrastructure."

Howard was charged with intent to impair or interrupt operation of critical infrastructure facility. Prosecutors have asked for Howard's bail to be set at $30,000.

This is the third time someone has gotten into a secured area at Bush Airport in the last two months.

On April 22, a man was found passed out near a ramp in Terminal E after he had removed all his clothes.

Then, on May 27, a man was found hiding in a passenger plane at IAH after allegedly stowing away on an American Airlines flight.

That man was charged with criminal trespass to a critical infrastructure facility.

As for Tuesday night's incident, officials say they are conducting an internal security review. In a statement, officials explained what they're doing now.

"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 statement also detailed how the airport keeps passengers safe.

"Houston Airports conducts multiple daily patrols inside and outside of the perimeter fence. Our airports have a surveillance system that allows our team the ability to detect intrusions. The daily duties of our Operations Division include looking for gaps and/or vulnerabilities in our layered security plan. Bush Airport staff is responsible for 10,000 acres, which includes 43 miles of runways and taxiways; 100 miles of roadways; and approximately 30 miles of perimeter barbed-wire fence."