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Airport Operations and Security Management
Category: Airport Security Management | 29/10/2007 - 16:11:05
Airport security has gone through significant changes in recent years. Notably, these changes have been driven largely by terrorist activities around the globe.
Developing a comprehensive security plan is complex, involving multiple stakeholders responsible for airport and air travel security (e.g., airport authorities and agencies, airlines, private enterprise and government). Conceiving cost effective plans to address the complexity and regulatory compliance of security today, requires a forward thinking approach that encompasses a holistic and technology based view of what a security plan should include to meet current and future needs.
A multi-layered and multi-tiered security blueprint needs to take into account threats extending beyond the terminal to include the entire airport complex and its perimeter while minimising the impact on daily operations and passenger flow. Ultimately, the passenger experience should be designed to provide both customer satisfaction and excellence in order to increase passenger volume and revenues.
Increasing Passenger Volume
With multiple technologies, vendors, security systems, operations systems, airport tenants, and other stakeholders all potential contributors to the overall security plan, it can quickly become difficult to manage. Key to your success is in introducing a scalable solution that is capable of managing all aspects of the security solution centrally.
Step back and examine the big picture and you will quickly recognise the enormity and complex nature of airport operations. Take for example an airport environment consisting of multiple terminals or airport authorities responsible for several airports, each with their own security infrastructure.
Complex and outdated security plans combined with legacy technology may be contributing to inefficiencies in airport security and operations, leading to time delays congestion and ultimately sharp declines in passenger volume.
While the list of systems that contribute to airport security is endless, some of the common systems include; baggage screening and handling (e.g., RFID, EDS), access control, intrusion and perimeter detection, security intelligence, metal detectors, and video surveillance.
Video surveillance is an important component to any airport security plan. Incorporating video analytics has the capacity of identifying unattended baggage, abnormal behavioural patterns, including erratic vehicle and passenger flow. Together they enhance your security solution, especially if you have a significant number of video streams to monitor. The other benefit is a reduction in operational costs.
Using a central system gives you the opportunity of bringing together all disparate technologies (analog and IP), vendors and systems alike by leveraging your network infrastructure across a single airport or several.
At Visual Defence, our "security convergence" approach clearly represents the fundamentals of how our solutions address the challenges airports face today. Our technology enables airports to effectively identify and reduce potential threats, and streamline security and operational processes. The end result is reflected in a reduction in passenger wait times, improved passenger flow and positive revenue generation for the airport.
With multiple systems and sub-systems providing information, an Operator can easily be overwhelmed with information overload. Harnessing and managing all this data involves careful planning and a means of translating the information into knowledge. Once an Operator (security analyst) has meaningful information (knowledge) an intelligent and actionable response can be made in a timely manner
Providing Operators with all relevant details of a given event within a central system helps them assess the risks and provide measured response quickly and intelligently as events occur.
Additionally, being able to guide Operator actions with well planned response workflows through the same central system removes and reduces the manual decision-making process based on your business rules. This reduces the risk associated with human error in high pressure, and emergency scenarios.
Resource Sharing Benefits
In multi-tenant airports, a system capable of sharing resources (e.g., cameras) with multiple stakeholders provides cost savings and flexibility.
Using shared cameras to monitor common areas provides a number of advantages. With clear and defined priorities, one camera can be used by multiple stakeholders for a range of applications without compromising critical activities. During priority situations, control of the shared camera can be taken over by a single entity for reasons of security or privacy.
With less equipment required overall, maintenance costs are also significantly reduced.
Outsourcing Airport Security
With new and evolving international standards, it can be a challenging task to continually stay up-to-date. Outsourcing airport security operations to the experts has inherent benefits. Most importantly, they are current in regulatory standards, best practices and emerging trends. While outsourcing your airport security operations may or may not be the right choice for you, but it is alternative worth exploring.
Outsourcing all or part of your organisation's responsibility for physical security enhancement, contingency planning, project management, technology provision and implementation; including the recruitment of personnel, training, and management is one way of ensuring airport security standards meet and exceed international standards.
Manage Airport Security from a Single Platform
Command and Control Center (3C)
3C is a common management platform providing airports with a customisable and scalable solution to converge physical security sub-systems into one easy-to-manage system. Its ability to integrate and manage third-party systems suits the needs of airports by consolidating information from various sources and presenting it a way that is meaningful and draws an operator's attention to the most critical information.
3C is an intuitive system comprised of four modules; an Event Management module, a Mapping module, a Virtual Matrix System module for all your video management needs, and an Intercom Management module.
The Event Management module provides the Operator with a display of all events and corresponding notification of an alarm indicating:
• Alarm type
• Alarm description
• Alarm priority
Alarms can be generated by any integrated sub-system. The associated and predefined procedure for responding to a particular alarm appears on screen and guides the Operator through a series of steps that incorporates what-if scenarios in its logic.
The Mapping module has the capability of displaying multi-level maps and corresponding alarms (e.g., fire alarm, intruder alert, intercom activation etc.) through the event management system as they occur. The Operator has a visual representation pop-up icon on the map providing the alarms exact location. The Operator can alert/dispatch security personnel and emergency first responders as warranted in addition to monitoring the event through nearby cameras as required.
The Virtual Matrix System module allows Operators to view both live and recorded video from multiple sources that includes analog and IP cameras, and digital video recorders (DVRs) from any vendor.
The Video Management Module seamlessly integrates with video analytics to detect elements such as motion detection, directional movement, left baggage or people counting.
Digital Video Storage System
The Digital Video Storage System (DVSS) is an advanced storage and filing system that allows audio and video from multiple sources and multiple compressions to be easily queried and viewed. It also employs a unique video authentication tool that will detect video tampering of any image.
Intercom Management System
The Intercom Management System module is a standards-based VoIP Intercom solution. The Intercom Management System integrates voice, image and data into one cohesive solution allowing for the ability to communicate across a distributed networking infrastructure.
Visual Defence's strength in tailoring scalable software technology and systems integration expertise in airport security has a proven track record. With a wide range of professional services, Visual Defence can help you define, integrate and implement a complete turnkey solution.