Airport officials yesterday defended security and insisted safety had not been jeopardised after three Hong Kong residents entered a restricted area without passes and remained undetected for three hours. The lapse, the sixth at Chek Lap Kok airport since last July, comes less than three months before Hong Kong plays host to two major international summits. The latest lapse involved a man, 60, and two women, 30, and 56, all Hong Kong residents and thought to be related. The three, on an airport visit and without tickets or passports, allegedly bypassed Customs and entered the departure area through a staff door on Tuesday afternoon. They stayed there for about three hours before asking security for help. Police subsequently arrested the trio for allegedly entering an area restricted to staff and passengers with valid travel documents. They were each released on $1,000 bail and no decision on pressing charges had been made by last night. Aviation Security Company senior manager Gavin Ho Chi-hang denied his firm was at fault, saying the staff door was a Customs' responsibility. 'I am not in a position to comment on this specific incident, but it does seem likely that staff negligence from one of the departments may have caused this incident,' he said. The Security Bureau said it would wait for the results of a police investigation before deciding if airport security should be further strengthened. Two major international conferences - the East Asia Economic Summit and the 14th meeting of the Pacific Economic Co-operation Council - will be held in Hong Kong at the end of October and November respectively. In July last year, a traveller in transit, suspected to be mentally ill, reportedly bypassed security checkpoints at the airport three times. Eight months later, four police officers were able to enter a restricted area undetected while in plain clothes for a security test.