CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found a new push from travelers and city leaders to stop drivers from being able to crash through fences at Hopkins Airport.

The head of the Cleveland City Council Transportation Committee said he’s sent questions to the airport management, demanding answers.

Last week, a driver plowed through an airport fence and went onto a runway, shutting down Hopkins for a bit on the night before Thanksgiving.

That marked just the latest case in a growing number of incidents with drivers barreling through fences and gates there.

We’ve been showing you video from these incidents time and again, dating back to 2019.

The case last week comes months after a driver slammed his way through a gate, drove around where the planes go and then drove into an airport fire station.

The most recent case ended with a man abandoning a vehicle on a runway and taking off on foot. Police found him just outside the airport property. He now faces federal charges.

But, councilman Kerry McCormack wonders what will be done about security there.

“First and foremost, that perimeter has got to be hardened,” he told the I-Team.

McCormack said he wants Hopkins management to tell him what steps are being taken to make it tougher to get through an airport fence.

“Saying, essentially, please provide an update on what the plan is to be sure the perimeter of the airport is secure. Remains secure,” he said.

If you take a closer look at the fence around Hopkins Airport, you can see it’s not especially strong. Sections of it are also clearly stretched out of shape.

In fact, two years ago, a driver said he swerved to miss a deer. His car went through the fence, but the fence simply gave way and raised up, allowing the car to go underneath it.

Meanwhile, we checked with the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA tells us no other airport in Ohio has the same problems Hopkins has with drivers barreling through fences.

For two days, the I-Team pressed Hopkins Airport on this.

Tuesday, the airport released the following statement: 

Safety and security is Cleveland Hopkins International Airport’s (CLE) number one priority.  One of CLE’s objectives is to continuously assess our security program in order to mitigate risks and enhance safety and security measures. More recent security enhancements at CLE assisted in fostering a swift and safe resolution to the incident that occurred at the airport on November 23, 2022. Part of CLE’s future plans involve larger scale projects that will further augment CLE’s security program. The specifics of the security program must remain confidential and are considered Sensitive Security Information (SSI) to ensure its integrity and not create the potential for any vulnerabilities. 

CLE is committed to working closely with our regulatory partners in our continuous improvement efforts and ensuring a safe and secure travel experience. A few factors in a successful outcome at any incident at an airport also includes the preparedness, response, mitigation and resolution. In this case, CLE responded according to protocols designed to address situations such as this, taking the needed actions in an appropriate and timely manner to protect the safety of our passengers and airport.”

Travelers want to see action. Brittany Misencik had her flight delayed when the latest intruder drove into a secure area.

“Like, how can we avoid this from happening?” she said.

There’s no timetable yet for when you’ll see security improvement. But, now, even at the highest levels of city government, you can see there’s no more patience for what’s happening.