Airport security has always been a number one priority and the COVID-19 pandemic creates a greater need to ensure passenger safety. Firas Jadalla, Regional Director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) at Genetec, explains how airports can increase security through surveillance solutions.
Keeping passengers safe has always been an airport’s number one priority but with the security challenges faced, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, your security system must encompass the entire facility. During these times, there is a greater need to ensure passenger safety while monitoring all operations.
Airports can improve their operations by better correlating available data to proactively monitor situations of interest, anticipate possible threats, identify anomalies and optimise the passenger flow. By also ingesting data from the flight schedule (AODB), they can proactively monitor flight departures and arrivals (destination/origin, ETD, flight status, gate status, etc.) to enhance situational awareness and reduce response times. The flight schedule data can be also used to modify boarding/deplaning procedures according to the origin/destination of the flight and aircraft type.
Access control systems enable airports to carry on their everyday business while maintaining security activities that keep passengers safe. Access control is used to prevent unauthorised personnel or passengers from entering secured areas and restricted zones unnecessarily. It can also be used to enhance border security by segregating incoming and outgoing passengers and monitoring their flow. When combined with analytics, airport operators can also proactively monitor the boarding or deplaning of specific flights, as well as to measure the impact of gate changes, security screening delays, etc. to improve airport efficiency and increase commercial revenue from non-flight related sources (i.e. duty-free shops, restaurants, gift shops).
Video, intrusion systems and safety systems (FAS, BMS, BHS, etc.) should all be incorporated into one cohesive unified system. Airport installations can range from a few hundred to a few thousand cameras, doors and other devices and ground sensors. This amount of data from disparate systems (security infrastructure, aircraft operation, passenger counting, etc.) can be converted to meaningful information and insights to act on everyday tasks, situations and threats. Genetec helps airports keep passengers safe with a unified and guided approach to security, from parking lot to the terminal to the runway.
Additionally, and in light of the latest global pandemic developments, airports and the aviation sector will be able to benefit from tools and solutions designed to control occupancy of locations and areas. Occupancy management solutions include analytics and reporting tools that enable airports to tap into their security system to count the number of people in an area or restaurant/retail point, visualise data and alert employees when occupancy limits are being reached. Audit reports can also be easily produced to demonstrate the airport’s compliance with physical distancing regulations.
By carefully monitoring areas’ occupancy, airports can define policies that adhere to local guidelines for occupancy and mobilise their operations to limit the risk of transmission. Live occupancy data is displayed in clear, graphical ways. When occupancy limits are being reached, employees who are responsible for monitoring the situation can receive alerts on a mobile device, via email or on their security centre dashboard so they can take appropriate action.
Genetec security solutions (flight business logic, passenger analytics, collaborative decision management systems, etc.) have already been implemented at the Quebec International Airport to manage all systems from a single platform, helping security and operations officials identify unusual behaviour or possible security issues before they escalate into active threats or cause major delays. Common bottlenecks at the airport, such as security screening or kerbside pick-up and drop-off areas were actively monitored. Fiumicino Airport also introduced Genetec’s most advanced video surveillance systems at its security centre to better manage airport operations.