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UPDATE: Philadelphia Airport Closed After Jeep Drives On Runway

03/01/2012 12:14 pm ET | Updated Jun 19, 2012

Philadelphia International Airport was closed Thursday morning due to police activity.

Around 10am, a black Jeep Cherokee manned by a 24-year-old man drove onto the airport's runways before crashing the car through unmanned Gate 25, ABC 6 reports.

Police apprehended the suspect and he was taken to airport police headquarters. As a result, all inbound and outbound air traffic was shut down as a precaution; the runways have since reopened.

UPDATE1:15 pm: According to MyFoxPhilly.com, the FAA reports that the airport was shut for roughly 35 minutes as a result of the incident.

ABC Action News reports that the suspect sat parked outside the gate waiting for a plane to land. As a plane landed, he then drove through the gate and onto the runway. There are three runways currently open; a ground stop has been issued for the airport, so scheduled departure flights are still grounded. MyFoxPhilly.com reports that the suspect has been taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

UPDATE 3/2/2012:

The 24-year-old has been identified as Kenneth Richard Mazik. Don Chapman, local president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told CNN that an air traffic controller spotted something on the runway, but couldn't see clearly because of weather conditions. "When they spotted the Jeep there was a US Airways Express plane 100 feet above the ground. It was 10-15 seconds (from) touchdown, about a quarter mile from the end of the runway," Chapman said. "They saw it on the AMAS system radar system that they use to look at runways and taxiways and see if there is anything there." The plane was told not to land. Air traffic communications reveal the following conversation from the control tower: "Everybody on 9-er left it is going to be a delay. You guys can shut down if you need to. We've got a rogue vehicle driving around on the airport. We are not talking to him. We are not moving anybody until we find this guy."

"Had the controller not picked this up it would have been bad. It was only by the grace of God that the controller happened to be scanning," Chapman told CNN. Mazik was charged with driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, defiant trespass, criminal mischief, aggravated assault and simple assault, according to CNN.

Check out GMA's coverage below.

UPDATE 6/19/2012:

According to NBC Philadelphia, Mazik has been federally charged with disrupting service and endangering airport safety. He could face up to 20 years in prison, three years supervised release, restitution and up to a $250,000 fine if he is found guilty.

Though he was charged with driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and the others listed above, the City of Philadelphia dropped those charges so federal authorities could take over.

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