SkyWest may bear the brunt of the costs for enhanced security, but to avoid a similar occurrence, he said it would be a small price to pay for the organization, which has an "impeccable safety record." The costs may also be passed onto consumers.
"The potential risk of this was huge," Panuzio said, adding that Hedglin may have targeted the southern Utah airport because of his familiarity with it, but also because it is remote and its security is fairly unsophisticated.
In the aftermath, he said, the airport may look at installing double fencing around the perimeter and utilizing infrared security cameras, such as is the case in Salt Lake City, as well as employing additional security personnel.
"For every mile of the perimeter, you need 15 to 20 personnel," Panuzio said. "One is definitely not enough." Larger airports, like in Los Angeles, he said, employ undercover police on the grounds, as well as inside the airport and on the tarmac, to prevent and monitor adverse situations.
At any rate, Panuzio said airports, like any business, can't protect itself against "rogue" individuals.
Had the jet Hedglin was attempting to fly been successful at taking off, Panuzio said the nearby Nellis Air Force Base would have been activated and authorized to "shoot him down."
"He knew what he was doing and it wasn't going to end well," he said.
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