Funds Will be Used to Install Security Fence Around Pennsylvania Airport

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- State and federal funds will be used to install a security fence around Mahoning Township's Jake Arner Memorial Airport, officials said.

Paul Smith, chairman of the Carbon County Airport Authority, said the $58,500 will pay for an eight- to 10-foot fence to keep trespassers off airport property. In January 2004, the airport's main office was broken into and laptop computers and other items stolen.

The existing fence does not follow the entire perimeter and is about 300 feet from the west end of the airport. The new 2,500-foot-long fence to be installed by spring will be about 700 feet from the end of the runway.

Smith said the airport had to dump mounds of fill past the end of the runway and the piles are taller than the fence, so someone can just walk over it.

''We filled in the area. It's actually no good because the ground is actually higher than the fence is,'' Smith said.

The airport is used by cargo, corporate and recreational aircraft and is also a landing and refueling site for planes fighting forest fires.