Using Video Surveillance to Limit Liability at Airports

Posted on Categories Airports

Airports are large, sprawling spaces, containing a number of areas utilized by masses of people from travelers to airport personnel as they travel from place to place or go about their daily jobs. Securing such a facility is a complex process, requiring a robust video surveillance system throughout not only the front-facing parts of the facility, but also employee-only restricted access areas, tarmac and exterior areas.

The many potential dangers of an airport environment means that liabilities are a serious concern for airport management. Dangerous machinery on property, a sprawling facility with many nooks and crannies, a great many people moving from place to place (often in a hurry), and a number of vendors and contract employees all converge to create an environment where risk is high and difficult to detect. An injury or other incident occurring on airport property can be costly and take up valuable resources. In addition, it may be difficult to determine exactly who is at fault for damages without adequate forensic-quality evidence. From slip and falls to on-the-job accidents to lost persons, liability is something that airports need to take into consideration.

A comprehensive video surveillance system is the first line of defense when limiting liabilities at airports. High-performance cameras constantly streaming HD video in every part of your airport means that you will have consistent, auditable video evidence should an event occur. Enterprise-level VMS platforms provide real-time viewing and alerts and integrate with 3rd party analytics for improved monitoring and detection. VMS systems can also provide searchable time and place information that helps to pinpoint the relevant video data amongst the large amount of stored data on the system, greatly reducing investigation times. This can be particularly important when incident scenes are captured by more than one camera and different angles; an “investigation engine” can quickly locate and collate video from multiple angles to further eliminate confusion. Video surveillance systems can also help prevent liabilities from occurring in the first place.

Integrated analytics can help to track people through an airport in every area, and identify when a problem may come up without requiring complex training for operators. Object detection can notify security personnel if something is left behind or in a position where it might cause risk. Wrong-way monitoring sends an alert if someone or something is moving in an unexpected direction, and perimeter detection can sense when an area is being breached either at all or by an unauthorized person. Facial recognition can compare faces of people in an airport with a designated watchlist. Advanced VMS systems can even anticipate choke points based on crowd movement patterns, enabling a proactive response.

When thinking about liability prevention with a video surveillance system, cameras are critical both to helping prevent liability and to defending any airport in the event an incident occurs. Better cameras provide better data, with high definition cameras capturing better video images that allow analytics to perform accurately and consistently. Cameras with wide dynamic range (WDR) can capture usable video in areas with challenging lighting conditions, and panoramic cameras can capture a wide area while also allowing for PTZ functionality in certain models.

Liability at airports is an important consideration when installing or updating a video surveillance system. Digital high definition cameras can help to provide high quality images to accurately capture incidents, in addition to providing a platform for analytics that can help to prevent issues before they happen. Storing video data to be easily searchable will help provide evidence quickly in the event of an incident.

An airport is a massive hub, moving hundreds of thousands of travelers through a large facility hosting hundreds of employees and vendors. Video surveillance can improve operational efficiency and help to give airports facilities the edge in this ever-changing environment.